Vine Street Roman Wall Place (c) Hopkins Architects, courtesy of Urbanest

Archaeological consultancy on Vine Street: London’s Roman Wall

Client: 
London & Regional from 2012-2016, Urbanest from 2016 onwards
Date: 
2012 - Ongoing

Concealed in the basements of two adjoining buildings nestled between two City of London streets is a Scheduled Ancient Monument: the remains of a bastion tower and part of the 4th century wall that once encircled the Roman city of Londinium.

Since 2012 MOLA has provided a range of archaeological services to a complex project at the site, helping Urbanest (and formerly London & Regional) to navigate the specific planning and practical challenges posed by incorporating these incredible archaeological remains into an exciting new development consolidating the Emperor House and Roman Wall House sites.

The project has called upon a wide range of MOLA expertise: we have conducted Desk Based Assessments, evaluation and watching briefs, and helped to secure planning permission and Scheduled Monument Consents. Close collaboration with developers, engineers, architects, designers and other key stakeholders including Historic England and the City of London on proposals and methods of work has ensured that the archaeological conditions attached to these have been met. This will continue throughout the construction phase.

Thorough survey and accurate mapping of the wall remains has also been crucial to the project’s success. Our initial evaluation identified that the Roman wall extended further south than previously thought, so that the building design could be appropriately modified early on.

Spatial data from laser surveys conducted by our geomatics team has helped to protect the wall during demolition, by allowing a protective structure to be customised to the wall’s exact specifications. The detailed drawings produced have also been used by the architects (Hopkins and RPP) and designers (Metaphor) to shape the new exhibition space and its interface with the Scheduled Ancient Monument.

The spectacular Roman remains are set to be made readily accessible to the public for the very first time in a new mixed-use development featuring a subterranean public viewing platform, café and exhibition space featuring finds from the original excavations in the late 1970s and early 80s. The ancient remains and the space that they have inspired will be an invaluable asset to the scheme, which will place the Roman wall at its heart and provide major new visitor attraction for Londoners to enjoy.

  • Heritage Consultancy

    Our full range of heritage consultancy services help clients assess and manage their sites, from site acquisition and early negotiation to planning consent.
  • Geomatics

    Our highly skilled geomatics team produces and interprets high-quality survey, spatial and location data.