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Excavations at Broad Sanctuary, Westminster

Peter S Mills

The site lay near the edge of Thorney Island, about 140m north-west of Westminster Abbey. A series of drainage ditches canalising a branch of the river Tyburn indicate that the area was reclaimed from the surrounding marshland in the 16th century. Several barrel-lined wells, probably of 17th-century date, may have belonged to buildings erected on the reclaimed land.

The paper includes full reports on pottery, animal bones, pollen and other finds. These demonstrate that in this squalid quarter of Westminster the drainage ditches were regularly blocked with household rubbish, sewage and butchery waste. Leather debris and possible leatherworking tools may indicate the presence of a local leather industry.

[Transactions 33 (1982), pp 345 – 65; abstract by Francis Grew, 09-Dec-1997]

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