Talk of the Thames

PUBLISHED: 14:08 05 August 2010

AN AMATEUR archaeologist working with the Museum of London has helped discover a rare find which offers a glimpse of what the city could have looked like 600 years ago.

The clay medieval roof finial, moulded in the shape of an animal, was found during a survey of the river by the Tower of London last week and is believed to date from the late 12th century of early 13th century.

An object like this would have been used to embellish the ridges of tiled roof buildings in London and other large towns.

Roy Stephenson, Head of Archaeological Collections and Archive, said: “This find is relatively rare in the collections of the Museum of London.

“It gives a fascinating insight into the lost roofscape of medieval London, which we know relatively little about.

“Some of the more common place roofs would have been thatched, but here we have evidence of a decorated tiled roof, possibly from a prestigious private building.”

The finial will now undergo cleaning and research to further the Museum’s knowledge about the way London looked over six centuries ago.

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