Roman Hearths and 17th Century Cellars Found at Construction Site

Artefacts recovered during dig near Brentford High Street

Cllrs Curran and Dennison at the dig site
Cllrs Curran and Dennison at the dig site


Exhumations Begin at St Lawrence's Church Graveyard

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Archaeologists working on a construction site near Brentford High Street have made a range of discoveries including a Roman coin.

Experts from the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) commissioned by Hounslow Council to carry out an excavation on the site over a three month period. The dig has now concluded ahead of construction starting and among the other finds were two 17th century cellars, and hearths that are believed to be Roman in date. Brentford has a long history dating back to the Bronze Age, with Roman, medieval and post-medieval settlements known to have been situated close to what is now Brentford High Street.

Council Leader Cllr Steve Curran, with fellow Syon ward councillor Theo Dennison, visited the site to learn about what was found.

A Roman coin recovered near Brentford High Street
A Roman coin recovered near Brentford High Street

MOLA will use the excavation of the site as a springboard for young people in local secondary schools to learn about archaeological processes and skills, including how archaeology can be used to understand the changing patterns of settlement, trade and development in the local area over the centuries. MOLA is also hoping to host an open event for local residents and families to raise awareness about local archaeology and help people learn more about the heritage uncovered through the excavations.

The Brentford Block D development on the site will include 96 council rent homes and 12 retail units, with work by Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd due to start in the autumn.

Another artefact dug up by MOLA
Another artefact dug up by MOLA

Sophie Jackson, MOLA Director of Developer Services, said, ‘Brentford High Street is rich in archaeology and MOLA is delighted to be able to uncover and share the stories from many different periods in the history of occupation on this site over the last two thousand years.’

Cllr Curran said, “It was fascinating to see the historic items found on the site and great that MOLA will use them to work with local schools so they can learn more about Brentford’s rich history. As well as helping conserve the past, we are looking to the future with a new development that will bring much needed homes and businesses to the area.”

Matt Kemp, Senior Operations Manager at Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd, said, “There is always added interest to a project when artefacts are found prior to construction. With these now unearthed and preserved, we are excited to get started on the main construction and look forward to bringing the latest phase of the Brentford Waterside development, known as Brentford Block D, to fruition.”

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August 20, 2021

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