Roman village discovered under parkland
9 December 2010
Archaeologists have discovered the remains of an entire Roman village a few feet beneath parkland at Syon Park in West London - an RHS recommended garden.
The remains have lain undisturbed for almost 2,000 years despite being sited in one of the busiest areas of the capital.
The settlement, uncovered by archaeologists from the Museum of London, includes a Roman road, burial sites and 11,000 Roman artefacts such as skeletons, pottery, coins and jewellery. Its location under open grassland which has been part of the estate for centuries is thought to be what preserved it so well.
'Syon Park has a rich and remarkable history,' commented the Duke of Northumberland, whose family have owned the Grade I listed Syon House and estate for more than 400 years. 'The Roman findings are an incredible addition to this legacy and emphasise Syon Park's place as a prominent landmark in ancient British history.'
The artefacts came to light two years ago, when work began to construct a hotel on leased land at the edge of the park, although details have only just been released. Archaeology students from Birkbeck University have also been excavating the remains of a vast mediaeval abbey within the estate since 2004 following a discovery by the TV show Time Team. Both excavations are to feature in an exhibition in the House from mid-March.