My previous blog looked at the history of Beddington, how it progressed through the prehistoric period until it reached a climax as a Roman villa in the late Roman centuries. But what happened after the villa and what’s going to happen next to this archaeology?
In answer to the first question – what happened after the Roman villa? – the answer is… nothing. Unlike most Roman villa sites spread throughout today’s Greater London, the Saxons didn’t seem to want to do anything with the Beddington settlement (despite a mention in the Domesday book). Nor was there any Medieval activity. In fact it wasn’t until the 19th century that we have any activity back on this site, when the land was once again used for agriculture until becoming part of the Sewage Works in the early 20th Century.
But fear not, because the Beddington archaeology lives on! Over the past few weeks, teams of local residents have been beavering away at the Museum’s Archaeological Archive, where this material is currently stored. Having been dug up over 30 years ago, the objects are in some need of care and attention and the team have been learning how to store these artefacts to modern archival standards. They’ve also been learning a lot about the history of this site and are ready to share their experience with you.
From Friday 24th to Sunday 26th October, we’ll be setting ourselves up at the Whitgift Centre in Croydon, giving you an opportunity to come and see these real Roman artefacts up close and personal. Our volunteers will be on hand to explain what the objects are, what the romans were doing in Croydon and what they’ve been doing to preserve this archaeology. There’ll even be a chance for you to get involved as they show you how to ‘repack’ an object to museum standards, allowing you to be part of the legacy of this important archaeological site.
FREE children activities will include taking part in a mock excavation, where they will get to uncover real artefacts just like an archaeologist. (Book your tickets here)
Or perhaps you just want to come down and transform yourself into a 17th century bottle.
Unearthing South London: #ArchaeologyRocks reaches the Whitgift Centre from 11 – 5 Friday 24 to Sunday 26. Don’t miss it!