October 2015 |

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Flood defences will be implemented to protect historic London parks at a cost of 4.28m

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

Two historic parks in South London protected by an award-winning flood defence project. Thought to cost approximately £4.8 million, an award winning flood defence project in Southwark, South London has been created to help protect two historic parks – Herne Hill and Dulwich. Designed to capture water during heavy periods of rain, the defence system works by combining above and below-ground temporary flood storage. Herne Hill and Dulwich are areas that often become flooded because they are both in a low-lying catchment of the Effra River, therefore the project provides much needed protection for both historic sites. As a result of the public being keen to maintain the appearance of the parks, measures were implemented to ensure significant areas were not lost – the block systems used are load bearing and could revert back to their original appearance, and because each tank did not exceed 1 metre in depth they could be covered with top soil, ensuring they are almost invisible. In both areas, the distinct needs of the parks were kept in mind. Above ground, a mixture of natural earth bunding, a detention basin and dwarf-brick retaining wall structures were used, as well as a geocellular block storage below ground that plays a key element in the flood defence. Fraser Ruthven, Head of Marketing & Growth at LDF, said: “Implementing flood defence in areas of London that are at high risk is essential to keeping local landmarks, businesses and homes away from destructive floodwater. “This is why this particular scheme led by Southwark Council in South London is essential for the city – it’s safeguarding the protection of future generations,” he adds. Click here for more information on the project.

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Westminster Abbey Lavatory Block Gives Way To Medieval Burial Find

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

Westminster Abbey What Lies Beneath – A Surprising Find Underneath The Loos

Archaeologists made an interesting discovery during some drain maintenance in London in preparation for the construction of a new tower at Westminster Abbey. During the removal of a 1950s toilet block, over fifty individual skeletons were unearthed, sparking a flurry of activity by archaeologists and historians.

Who did these skeletons belong to?

It’s very likely that the newly discovered remains are part of the senior clergy. Higher ranking members of society, such as kings, queens and superior members of clergy, would be buried inside the perimeter of the church. However, because of the extreme proximately to the Abbey, it’s likely that these remains, whilst not dug up in the church itself, still belonged to higher ranking members of society.

When were they buried?

The bones have been found packed and stacked, in dense piles underneath Victorian drainage pipes. However, they are much older than Victorian times, with archaeologists reckoning that the bones have been in situ since the late 11th Century or the early part of the 12th Century. Interestingly, archaeologists have also suggested that these bones would have actually been reburied in the former 13th Century mason’s yard, when the new Abbey was commissioned by King Henry III.

Are there any interesting features on the skeletons?

Pickaxe marks have been found in the skulls of some of the skeletons. This is likely to be due to the 13th Century workmen, who demolished another church, Edward the Confessor’s church, to make way for the building of the great new Abbey. One of the surprising features of the find was that of a man’s skeleton, which was found buried in a luxury coffin made from Barnack stone from Northamptonshire. The skeleton was missing its skull, prompting a theory that

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