Tracks through time: archaeology and history from the East London Line Project


Aaron Birchenough, Emma Dwyer, Nicholas Elsden, Hana Lewis, et a


The East London Line Project, London’s latest railway, presented a unique opportunity to discover more about some of London’s earliest railways, including parts of one of the world’s first passenger railways, the Eastern Counties of 1840. Construction led to important archaeological discoveries in Shoreditch. The sparsely occupied hinterland of Roman London here, either side of Roman Ermine Street, was used for occasional burials. Medieval development began with the foundation of Holywell priory on the west side of Shoreditch High Street. Tudor buildings included a mansion on the site of the priory. The spread of the suburbs in the 17th and 18th centuries transformed the area and encouraged large-scale quarrying of brickearth and brickmaking nearby.
Revised edition published February 2010; 1st edition published June 2009.

Popular books

MOLA 2010. ISBN 978-1-901992-87-8. Pb 72pp. Many col ills.


"This is an excellent book, lavishly illustrated, which makes very good use of maps, topographical drawings and photographs as well as archaeological evidence in an exciting manner. It deserves a place on every Londoner’s bookshelf, as well as providing a good case study of how the ‘grey literature’ of archaeological reports can be made accessible to the general public. It is excellent value at only £9.95."
Marilyn Palmer in Industrial Archaeology Review 2010

"This is a beautifully produced book giving a clear and comprehensive archaeological and historical synthesis of this are in East London."
Warwick Burton in Journal of the Railway and Canal Historical Society 2011

"…the authors are to be congratulated in having prepared a coherent chronological narrative which presents the sites in their wider archaeological and historical, as well as contemporary local, context."
Duncan Hawkins in Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society 2011

"Rarely has an area as this along a major highway out of central London been scrutinised in such detail. Highly recommended."
Richard Thorogood in Underground News 2012