1800 Year-old Coin Unearthed at Fulham Palace

Proof of Roman settlement on site around the end of fourth century


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A coin discovered during an archaeological dig at Fulham Palace is proof of an ancient Roman settlement on the site.

The coin, which dates from the reign of Arcadius in AD 388-402, was unearthed as part of a dig in the Walled Garden performed prior to planting an orchard of apple trees.

Found at about a metre below the surface, the coin, although not particularly rare, is evidence of a settlement on the site probably from the end of the Fourth Century to the early Fifth Century.

Along with the coin, Roman brick, tile and 142 shards of pottery were retrieved, including a pot lid.

A Fulham Palace spokesperson says: " The Roman material recovered throughout the excavation is largely indicative of a late Roman settlement, and hints at the former presence of a substantial Roman building on the site.

" After being fully assessed, all the finds from the Orchard Archaeology Dig, including the Roman coin, will be returned to Fulham Palace, where they will become part of the Museum’s collection."

As part of the ongoing restoration of the Walled Garden, a new apple orchard was planned to reflect the historic orchards that grew at Fulham Palace. As Fulham Palace is a Scheduled Monument, special permission was granted from English Heritage requiring that each location where a tree was due to be planted was excavated by professional archaeologists.

Some 47 pits in total were hand-dug, leading to the historic finds, each of which has now been planted with a tree.

Fulham Palace is rich in archaeological remains, having been occupied during the Neolithic, Iron Age and Roman periods.

Since the 1970s, numerous archaeological digs have taken place there. For more details, visit the Palace website.

March 13, 2015