Exploring Archaeology in Roman Southwark

The Rose Playhouse

An online discussion via Zoom, beginning at 7 pm

Roman archaeology appears in some of the more unexpected locations. The monitoring of other types of work within the borough often bring up some surprising results.

Chris Constable (Southwark Archaeology), Ireneo Grosso (Pre-Construct Archaeology) and Antonietta Lerz (MoLA) will discuss the results of the recent excavation of a Romano-British cemetery carried out at Suffolk House, Great Suffolk Street, where a total of 64 inhumations and five cremations were discovered together with grave goods. They will also look back at the Harper Road’s excavation of 2017 which uncovered the skeletal remains of a mid-old adult, probably female, buried in a stone sarcophagus that formed the centrepiece of a temporary exhibition, Roman Dead, at the Museum of London Docklands in 2018.

Excavations of townhouses and a possible mansio (Roman hotel) on Southwark Street have revealed an extensive sequence of development at the heart of the Roman town. They will also talk about the surprising Roman origins of a 19th-century statue, revealed by recent conservation work.

As you walk around Southwark and see the cranes and building sites, mostly in the north of the borough, the building works have been preceded by archaeological investigations. Development enables us to investigate, manage and protect the archaeology of the borough.

The discussion will be introduced by Harvey Sheldon (archaeologist and chairman emeritus of the Rose Theatre Trust).



Chris Constable (Southwark Council)

Chris has been a Trustee of The Rose Playhouse since 2016. He returned to work for Southwark Council as borough archaeologist last May at the height of the pandemic, having previously held the post from 2006–2016. Before moving to London to work for Southwark, Chris was the Historic Buildings Officer for West Yorkshire and worked for a variety of archaeology organisations, including the British Institute for the Study of Iraq.

Ireneo Grosso (Pre-Construct Archaeology)

Ireneo began his career as an archaeologist for Pre-Construct Archaeology in 1998. During the last 23 years he has supervised excavations in Southwark, the City of Westminster and Newham.

Antonietta Lerz (Museum of London Archaeology)

Antonietta started as an Archaeologist with MoLA in 2005 and has been Senior Archaeologist since 2008. She has worked on a number of significant sites within London, as well as current excavations at Landmark Court, Southwark. She was involved in the excavations of parts of the Roman Eastern cemetery of the city and published details of the Minories Eagle, a first or early second-century limestone sculpture of an eagle clasping a serpent. She has also been involved in the excavations preceding the redevelopment of the Courtauld Institute which revealed a medieval cess pit. Other significant sites include excavations at Mariner House on Crutched Friars, which enabled the reconstruction of aspects of the Friary Church.


Tickets are £6 (reduced  for Friends of The Rose and students) and can be booked through TryBooking by clicking here. You will receive a link to this Zoom event via email. Any additional contributions for The Rose Playhouse will be much appreciated and go towards funding the Rose Revealed Project.

Please note that booking for this event will close at 6.00 pm on 18 October.

The Rose is an indoor archaeological site; it is advisable to dress warmly because there is no heating. There are no toilets, so please use those at Shakespeare’s Globe, which is 200 metres away.

Booking Information

Box Office

020 7261 9565