Since being discovered by chance in 1954 during the rebuilding of London after the Blitz, London’s Temple of Mithras has ignited imaginations. The near complete footprint of the temple emerged from the rubble, a symbol of London’s endurance. It immediately became a public sensation, attracting front-page news and queues of up to 30,000 visitors a day over a two week period. Our oral history project brought together fascinating first-hand accounts and painted a picture of a city enraptured by archaeological discovery. We hope that London Mithraeum will mean that many generations to come will be able to experience the magic of London’s Temple of Mithras.
The discovery of the temple was just the first glimpse into the site’s extraordinary past. After Bloomberg acquired it in 2010 and our archaeological excavation began, it became clear that thanks to the waterlogged conditions of the Walbrook valley, the site held further archaeological riches from Roman Londinium, leading the site to be dubbed ‘the Pompeii of the north’. In 2016 we released our research into the first hand-written documents from Britain. Previously only 19 legible tablets were known from London, we discovered 405 at Bloomberg including one that features the first ever reference to London.