This week we began machining in the North West corner of the site. It is great to get started with the dig after the long wait. The upper layers of the site are largely 20th century in date, in the areas we have started work on, these layers are backfilling the cellars of demolished buildings. This backfill is covered by a thick rubble layer that formed the surface of the old car park.

The post medieval archaeology of the site is not amazingly unusual, but it does give a snapshot of the way London developed in the last 400-500 years. It will be really interesting to start to compare what we are finding with the documentary sources for the area.

So far, we are working in the north of the excavation area within the area of the buildings that once fronted onto South Tenter Street. We are currently digging out the cellar of number 4 South Tenter Street and should be moving into number 6 later on today or tomorrow. The map evidence indicates that these buildings were not part of the original Georgian Development of the site, but that they were built ad hoc into the rear gardens of the Prescot Street houses.

The evidence from the first couple of days seems to fit in with this theme. The cellar wall and foundation of number 4 South Tenter Street is cobbled together from reused and poor quality materials that have been used to build a rough foundation. Some voids in the wall seem to be indicating that wooden blocks or planks might have been thrown into the foundation trench.

The two other features from the post medieval period that we have found are brick lined soak-aways and horn-core pits. We haven’t got into the excavation of these features yet, but it looks like these will be the first of many. We all hope that these features haven’t removed all of the earlier deposits!