Excavations at the Priory of the Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, Clerkenwell, London

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2004-12-01
  • Publisher: David Brown Book Co
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The Knights of St John, or the Knights Hospitaller, were one of the most famous Christian military orders. Their humble origins lay in helping early pilgrims at Jerusalem from the turn of the 12th century, but they developed into a true multi-national organization with headquarters in almost all European countries. The Priory of England was centered at Clerkenwell, London, where the surviving medieval crypt and Tudor gatehouse are well-known landmarks. Several large-scale excavations by the Museum of London in the 1980s and 90s have been combined with antiquarian surveys in this monograph to produce a remarkable picture of a priory. Founded in 1144, this highly unusual religious house evolved from a round-naved church and associated buildings into one of London's premier palatial residences. Unusually, the priory's buildings were retained after the Dissolution of the Hospitallers in 1540, becoming the residence of nobility and the location, for a while, of the Royal Master of the Revels. There was only ever one headquarters of the Knights Hospitaller in England: this book provides a fascinating blend of the history and archaeology of a unique site.

Table of Contents

List of figuresp. xi
List of tablesp. xvi
Summaryp. xviii
Acknowledgementsp. xix
A brief summary of the origins of the Knights Hospitaller, and their arrival in Britainp. 1
Current knowledge of the archaeology of the Hospitaller houses in Britain: an introductionp. 3
Current knowledge of round-naved churches in Britainp. 4
Circumstances of excavationp. 8
The study areap. 8
Chronology of the excavationsp. 8
Sites considered in this reportp. 12
Organisation of this reportp. 12
Chronological narrativep. 12
Thematic sectionsp. 14
Specialist appendicesp. 14
Textual conventionsp. 14
Graphical conventionsp. 16
A note on the documentary evidencep. 16
Aimsp. 16
A note on sourcesp. 17
The archaeological sequence: pre-priory summary
Geology and topographyp. 18
Roman and Saxon land use (periods R1 and S1)p. 20
Archaeological evidencep. 20
Discussion: periods R1 and S1 (c AD 40-600)p. 23
The archaeological sequence: the medieval period
The Norman landscape, 1066-1144 (period M1)p. 24
Documentary evidencep. 24
Archaeological evidencep. 24
The priory: foundation, 1144-85 (period M2)p. 24
Documentary evidencep. 24
Archaeological evidencep. 28
Discussion: period M2 (1144-85)p. 40
The priory: independence and expansion, 1185-c 1280 (period M3)p. 40
Documentary evidencep. 40
Archaeological evidencep. 43
Discussion: period M3 (1185-c 1280)p. 68
The priory: the development of the outer precinct, c 1280-c 1330 (period M4)p. 69
Documentary evidencep. 69
Archaeological evidencep. 70
Discussion: period M4 (c 1280-c 1330)p. 88
The priory: the ascendancy of Clerkenwell, c 1330-c 1480 (period M5)p. 90
Documentary evidencep. 90
Archaeological evidencep. 93
Discussion: period M5 (c 1330-c 1480)p. 128
The priory: the great rebuilding, c 1480-1540 (period M6)p. 130
Documentary evidencep. 130
Archaeological evidencep. 146
Discussion: period M6 (c 1480-1540)p. 189
Aspects of the medieval priory
Foundationp. 191
Architecturep. 193
The Norman and Transitional priory (c 1150-85)p. 193
Decorated work (c 1270-c 1350)p. 195
Perpendicular workp. 195
Tudor workp. 195
Later Tudor workp. 197
Conclusionsp. 199
Layout and developmentp. 199
Development of the inner precinctp. 200
The outer precinctp. 203
The Peasants' Revoltp. 204
The roles of the prioryp. 205
Diet, health, hygiene and living standardsp. 208
Dietp. 208
Health and hygienep. 210
Living standardsp. 212
Priory residents and personnelp. 213
Corrodiansp. 217
Chaplainsp. 218
Welshp. 218
Tenantsp. 218
Familial tiesp. 219
The Tonge familyp. 219
Conclusionsp. 220
Industrial and craft activities in the precinctsp. 220
Bone and antler workingp. 220
Horn workingp. 220
Other trades and industriesp. 221
The post-medieval period
The dissolutions and the private mansions, 1540-c 1650 (period P1)p. 222
Documentary evidencep. 222
Archaeological evidencep. 232
St John Clerkenwell after the Dissolutionp. 271
The inner precinctp. 272
The outer precinctp. 274
The social context of the study area in the 17th centuryp. 274
Rules of Fleetp. 275
Leisure and material culture in the 17th centuryp. 275
The character of St John Clerkenwellp. 278
Further research questionsp. 279
Specialist appendices
The moulded stonep. 280
Methodologyp. 280
The architectural periodsp. 280
Catalogue and description of typestonesp. 281
The architectural terracottasp. 297
Introductionp. 297
Descriptionp. 297
Discussionp. 313
Other stone and ceramic building materialp. 321
Stone building materialp. 321
Ceramic building materialp. 322
The wall and ceiling plasterp. 331
Catalogue and descriptionp. 331
Discussionp. 331
The potteryp. 331
Introductionp. 331
Methodologyp. 332
Assemblage compositionp. 336
Chronological trendsp. 348
Spatial distributionp. 351
Aspects of the pottery from St John Clerkenwellp. 351
Discussionp. 354
The non-ceramic findsp. 355
Introductionp. 355
The Saxon periodp. 355
The medieval periods (archaeological periods M2-M6, 1144-1540)p. 355
Post-Dissolution (period P1, 1540-c 1650)p. 361
Museum of London collectionp. 365
Museum of the Order of St John collection (St John's Gate, Clerkenwell)p. 366
British Museum collectionp. 366
The plant remainsp. 367
Introductionp. 367
Methodologyp. 367
Resultsp. 380
Discussionp. 381
Conclusionsp. 382
The animal bonep. 382
Introductionp. 382
Methodologyp. 382
Distribution of the materialp. 382
Conclusionsp. 386
The fish bonep. 386
Introductionp. 386
Medieval fish bonesp. 386
Post-medieval fish bonesp. 387
The insect remainsp. 389
Sample selection and preparationp. 389
Identification and analysisp. 389
Summary interpretation of the insect faunas and their relative importancep. 389
comparison with other sitesp. 389
The human bonep. 394
Introductionp. 394
Methodologyp. 394
Preservation of the articulated remainsp. 395
Sex composition of the articulated remainsp. 395
Age composition of the articulated remainsp. 395
Demography of the articulated remainsp. 396
Skeletal pathologyp. 398
Disarticulated bonep. 404
Summary and conclusionsp. 404
Glossaryp. 406
French and German summariesp. 408
Bibliographyp. 411
Indexp. 422
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