History is old news

Feeling a bit nostalgic as it was a year ago this week we finished the main area of excavation, we thought we would dip into the past for the latest blog…

It could not have passed anyone by that our site was home to one of the most exciting archaeological discoveries in London in the 1950s; The Temple of Mithras. Our recent excavations unfortunately had little to do with the Temple as it, and its surroundings, were removed during the excavations and construction of Bucklersbury House. Back then, and indeed still today, the Temple was big news. Images of newspaper clippings from the time can be seen on the hoarding outside our site, and it was the Temple’s popularity with the general public that led to the reconstruction on Queen Victoria Street (dismantled in 2011).

The Daily Mail 1954

The site not only featured in the newspapers of the time, but also in early newsreels. Just before Easter this year, British Pathe uploaded its entire collection of 85,000 historic films onto YouTube, and this included two which featured the 50s Temple of Mithras excavations. This is an absolutely amazing resource, and well worth a look.

If you haven’t seen the historic Temple of Mithras footage before, you will find the links below.

Our reliable source John Shepherd tells us that in the second film the chap wearing glasses and holding the head of Mithras, is of course Grimes.

Also that you might like to know that the bespectacled gent in the first film is Harold Plenderleith, British Museum conservator and notable in his own right for working at Sutton Hoo (with Grimes), Tutankhamun’s tomb and many other great sites.

Enjoy!

 

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