Museum of Croydon coin discoveries (c) Museum of Croydon

Time Truck goes to Croydon Heritage Festival

Magnus Copps

One month on from our outing to Croydon Heritage Festival our Head of Audience Engagement, Magnus Copps, looks back at a great day celebrating the rich archaeological heritage of this vibrant London borough:

In some circles Croydon is known only for its concrete canyons and urban motorways, however archaeological excavations taking place as part of regeneration spearheaded by the London Borough of Croydon show that if you take a longer look, the growth of concrete in the 20th century is just one of many stories the area has to tell.

We set out to Croydon Heritage Festival to bring some of these fascinating archaeological stories to life for locals and visitors alike. Recent MOLA excavations at Lion Green Road uncovered part of a Saxon burial ground, with finds including some late Roman coins that appear to have been adapted for use as ornaments or jewellery. We teamed up with Museum of Croydon to put these finds in a wider context of the archaeology of Croydon, showcasing a range of finds including mammoth tooth fragments once held in the lost Grange Wood Museum, some prehistoric flints and axe heads  - some of which were found at Carshalton, and a beautiful Roman cup decorated with a hunting scene, also discovered locally.

Alongside these, visitors had the opportunity to meet the Time Truck’s resident skeleton in the closet – a (plastic) teaching aid that we use to explain the many methods of analysis our Osteology team use to learn about the lives of individuals discovered in the course of our investigations.  

The near record number of visits we received whilst pitched on North End, almost 400, shows just how much appetite Croydon has for heritage, and we are very grateful for the support of LB Croydon and the Whitgift Foundation which allowed us to take part in this year’s festival.

Don't miss your chance to hope aboard the truck this summer, check out our Time Truck Summer Events programme to find out where we'll be next.

Thanks to all of the Time Truck sponsors Brookfield and OxfordStanhopeCain HoyGalliard HomesTP BennettThe Garfield Weston FoundationWates Giving and the Heritage Lottery Fund

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