Rotherhithe’s Medieval Stones

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Above: Two large blocks of stone, one above the the other, protruding from the river wall.

Just when you think you know all there is to know about the river bank at Rotherhithe, yet another pair of eyes has found something else. The picture shows the shore at low tide at the point on the river where the lone house, once the offices of Braithwaite and Dean, still stands. Most of the land is now a park called King’s Stairs Gardens. The view appeared recently in a Web article about the Thames shoreline.

Much of the river wall was either heavily restored or completely rebuilt by the LDDC in the 1980s. It is them we have to thank for providing the wonderful riverside walkways that we all enjoy today.

However, protruding from the wall, at shore level, are two very large stones. I must confess to never having noticed them before. The Museum of London is in the process of carrying out an extensive survey of the shore on both sides of the Thames, from Teddington in the west to well beyond Thamesmead in the east. One point of interest is the large blocks of masonry at Rotherhithe which are believed to be medieval. If so, they are a very rare find. A medieval structure, facing onto the shore is extremely unusual. Bearing in mind that a few hundred feet away (behind the camera) is the Angel Tavern, near which are to be seen the remains of Edward III’s moated riverside palace, it is possible that the stones are related to that site. There has been no confirmation of their purpose by the Museum of London.


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