Trig Lane, London: excavations reveal the timbers of the Medieval waterfront. On the left is the fourteenth century river wall, replaced in the fifteenth century by the stone wall just beyond it. To the right is one side of a small dock, the other side of which should lie under where the spectators are standing. Behind the spectators is the Triggurat' where a fine display of greenery grew lustily in the medieval peat. Behind that is the River Thames, spanned by the Blackfriars Railway bridge.
planks overlapping. But whereas the other boats of this date (the Sutton Hoo, Graveney and Customs House boats) are held together by iron rivets, the New Fresh Wharf boat was held together by wooden pegs, a technique for which the nearest analogies known at present are in Poland. When found, the boat formed a horizontal platform, but when it was used to form the new wharf, a row of silver birch posts was driven into the river silt, and the planks of the old boat were used to form a vertical revetment wall. Professor Shotton, of the Birmingham radiocarbon laboratory carried out a radiocarbon analysis of the bark from one of the silver birch posts, and obtained a date of 760 ± 100 ad (Birm. 548). This suggests that by the eighth century the Saxons both had the resources for, and the interest in carrying out minor modifications to the surviving Roman structures. The site has currently been closed down due to demolition work, but it could be the most exciting site of all when excavation recommences.
The major site at present is on the western side of the City, part of the same redevelopment in which Baynards Castle was revealed in 1972. This is known as Trig Lane, after a prominent family of fishmongers who lived there in the 14th century. Here a superb and well preserved length of the 14th century wharf has been uncovered, with what looks like a small dock to one side. The front wall of the wharf is supported by particularly elegant struts which form a major feature of the site. Over the next 12 months it is hoped to extend the site for another 100 yards or so further west, where documentary evidence records wharves owned by the abbot of Chertsey. The wood of the present wharf is still in situ, being preserved by a constant sprinkler system, and if future excavations reveal similar wharves along the adjacent site in the summer of 1975, the long stretch of London's medieval waterfront will form one