A Glimpse of the Past

Extracts from the Wandsworth entry in from JamesThorne's ‘Environs of London' from 1876.

"...but nearer Carshalton, foundations of buildings, urns, spear-heads, and other Roman remains have been found. In Beddington Park Mr. Wickham Flower found a number of broken and imperfect castings of bronze spear-heads and other implements, an ingot of metal, part of a mould, and other objects which clearly showed that this was the site of the foundry where the articles were manufactured.

A later and in some respects more important discovery was made in Feb. 1871, in carrying out some engineering works for the Croydon sewage irrigation at Park Farm, on the N. side of the Wandle, between Beddington Lane and the Hackbridge Rly. Stat., when a Roman villa of considerable pretensions, with its detached outhouses, was laid open. The remains were about 2 ft. below the surface; the foundations, of Roman bricks, being laid on the natural bed of drift gravel. The outer walls, 6 to 21 in. high, were composed of large flints and mortar, flat Roman bricks being used as bonding-courses only in the inner walls. The interior was a mass of rubbish, in which were found fragments of Samean ware, a bronze head, and a few coins of the times of Commodus, Constantine, and Claudius.

The building extended E. and W. from a central chamber, 16 ft. by 10 ft.; south of it was a pavement of square tiles, which appeared to have been subjected to great heat, and which was thought to have been the floor on which the fire of the hypocaust was made. About 500 yds. S. of the villa, two or three skeletons, some sepulchral urns, a spear-head, iron knives, and the boss of a shield were exhumed, marking, as is believed, the site of an Anglo-Saxon burial ground; but the works were not carried farther in that direction and the remains are again hidden from sight. In March 1874 the "remains of a Roman warrior, who had evidently been buried in his armour, together with some arms," were found by

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