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The Spitalfields suburb 1539-c 1880

by Chiz Harward, Nick Holder, Nigel Jeffries

The Spitalfields suburb 1539-c 1880 Synopsis

One of London's largest archaeological excavations took place at Spitalfields Market, on the north-eastern fringe of the historic city, between 1991 and 2007. This book presents an archaeological history from the 16th to the 19th centuries, reconnecting the archaeological assemblages with documentary evidence in order to describe the place, people and possessions of the early modern suburb of Spitalfields. Following the closure of the medieval priory of St Mary Spital in the 1530s and the construction of private mansions, the largely residential enclave grew into the suburb of Spitalfields in the 17th century as landowners built clusters of houses in the former fields and developer-builders constructed some of London's first terraced houses in the 1680s over the former military training ground. Development continued piecemeal in all areas over the next centuries. Analysis of the artefacts - pottery, glasswares, clay tobacco pipes and other domestic items - and of the botanical and faunal remains discarded in the privies of these houses throws new light on the household economies and leisure activities of, in particular, the Georgian and Victorian residents, a number of whom were involved in the silk industry and who included Huguenot and Jewish families. A series of essays bring an archaeological perspective to wider historical themes such as the religious life, architecture, sanitation and administration of this flourishing post-medieval suburb.

The Spitalfields suburb 1539-c 1880 Press Reviews

This could have been a dense book full of turgid data, but the authors have managed to combine a lot of detail in the necessary technical language with vignettes of the lives, homes and possessions of numerous families. From Vaughan and Wheler in the 17th century, the Grahams in the 18th and the Vernells in the 19th, we have a series of fascinating insights into the lives of the Spitalfields inhabitants and their changing worlds in this vibrant part of London.

Book Information

ISBN: 9781907586293
Publication date: 30th May 2015
Author: Chiz Harward, Nick Holder, Nigel Jeffries
Publisher: Museum of London Archaeology Service an imprint of Museum of London Archaeology
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 360 pages
Categories: Industrial archaeology,

About Chiz Harward, Nick Holder, Nigel Jeffries

Nick Holder is a Senior Properties Historian for English Heritage and a Honorary Research Fellow for University of Exeter. He has previously graduated from University College London and Paris-Sorbonne University, with his PhD from Royal Holloway.

More About Chiz Harward, Nick Holder, Nigel Jeffries

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