by Carrie Cowan, Fiona Seeley, Angela Wardle, Andrew Westman and Lucy Wheeler
This report presents an overview of Roman urban development in London south of the Thames. The establishment of the Roman bridge and the first approach roads and landing places, made Southwark an ideal location for the development of facilities for the trans-shipment of goods between land and river. The wide range of data from 41 previously unpublished north Southwark sites provides the means for 'mapping' Roman activity in Southwark: the nature of the early settlement, changing patterns of land use and broader processes of social and economic change. Early land reclamation preceded the establishment of a thriving trade centre involved in the redistribution or marketing of locally processed and imported goods, with evidence of a concentration of buildings burnt in Boudican fire of AD 61 along the main road to the bridgehead. Increased land reclamation and construction of more masonry buildings in the 2nd century AD indicate further growth. By the 3rd century large stone buildings at ten of the sites reported suggest an administrative area housing official residences. After the mid 4th century the settlement contracted to the area immediately around the bridgehead with a cemetery on previously occupied land to the south.