Tuesday 29 March 2011

Archaeological Dig At UKCMRI Site Behind British Library

Construction work will soon begin on a world-class medical research centre behind the British Library. The UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation (UKCMRI) will bring together scientists from Cancer Research UK, UCL, Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council in a brand new facility.

Before the builders are let loose, an archaeological dig will scrabble about on the site looking for remnants of yore. Public tours of the dig will be available on 16, 18, 18, 20 and 21 April. An on-site exhibition about the UKCMRI will also be open on 31 March.

So what might the archaeologists find? The land was most recently for industrial goods, including a fish shed and coal depot. Before that, dense rows of housing occupied the site. Perhaps more intriguingly, the area sits very close to the Saxon (possibly Roman) site of St Pancras Old Church, and beside the former banks of the River Fleet. It’s quite possible that ancient remains might lay beneath the top soil.

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