Civils and stations

26.10.18

Archaeologists begin UK’s biggest ever excavation work at HS2 London Euston site

Archaeological work on the HS2 rail link between London and Birmingham to remove 45,000 skeletons from a burial site has begun.

Over 1,000 archaeologists, specialists, scientists and conservators will be exploring and recording over 60 archaeological sites for the £55.7bn rail project over the next two years.

All part of HS2’s enabling works, the giant archaeological project, the largest ever undertaken in the UK, will explore more than 10,000 years of British history along the 150-mile route.

HS2 said the dig at the controversial Camden burial site would “add to our understanding of how this city transformed,” as well as helping prepare for the £55.7bn high-speed rail line.

The work will range from the prehistoric period, through Roman Britain, the Anglo-Saxon and medieval ages, all the way to the Industrial Revolution and World War II, and a number of significant sites have been identified on the route.

Early findings have already discovered two Victorian time capsules buried nearly 140 years ago in London, and the archaeologists plan on exploring a prehistoric hunter-gatherer site on the outskirts of London and researching an undiscovered multi-period site in Northamptonshire.

They also plan on finding out more about the Black Death and its impact on medieval villages, and on excavating a Romano-British town in Aylesbury, with all discoveries shared with local communities.

Some 61,000 burials took place at St James’s Gardens between 1788 and 1853, beside what is now London Euston station, and HS2 said it was working with the Church of England to select a site where the skeletons will be reburied.

When the site first closed, protestors held a memorial service for the thousands of remains due to be exhumed following an unsuccessful campaign to save the site.

HS2 said it plans on including all ages in the discoveries through lecture days, community open days, school visits and online channels, as “HS2 will link the past, present and future.”

HS2 archaeologist Michael Court said: “Birmingham's pivotal role in Britain's Industrial Revolution is unquestionable, and HS2's archaeology programme in the city will allow us to tell the story of the skilled workers who fuelled it.

“Burial and historical records will aid archaeologists, scientists and historians in understanding how the buried population lived, worked and contributed to making Birmingham the international powerhouse that it became.”

Enjoying RTM? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Image credit - tuulimaa

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

ScotRail submits £18m improvement plan in response to government improvement notice

25/03/2019ScotRail submits £18m improvement plan in response to government improvement notice

Under-fire train operator ScotRail has unveiled an £18m remedial plan to recruit more staff and bring in additional high-speed trains in re... more >
Major redevelopment plans for Edinburgh Waverley station unveiled

25/03/2019Major redevelopment plans for Edinburgh Waverley station unveiled

Network Rail has launched a consultation on a multi-million long-term redevelopment plan for Edinburgh’s Waverley Station. With annual... more >
Failings found as passengers on stranded train walk on live track in ‘potentially lethal’ incident, RAIB says

25/03/2019Failings found as passengers on stranded train walk on live track in ‘potentially lethal’ incident, RAIB says

Dozens of passengers left “increasingly uncomfortable” on a stranded train at Lewisham left their train and walked along icy tracks s... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

The West Midlands 30-year strategy

19/03/2019The West Midlands 30-year strategy

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE), outlines the West Midlands Rail Investment Strategy 2018-2047. The West Midlands Rail Executive was formed three years ago to give local authorities a direct influence over the award of the region’s main rail franchise. Working with the Department for Transpo... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Caledonian Sleeper: a railway icon re-imagined

19/03/2019Caledonian Sleeper: a railway icon re-imagined

The world-renowned Caledonian Sleeper, due to begin operations at the end of spring 2019, completed its first Scotland to London journey earlier ... more >
26-30 Railcard: taking advantage of opportunities

19/03/201926-30 Railcard: taking advantage of opportunities

After a nine-month national trial, the rail industry launched its seventh National Railcard for 26-30-year-olds on 2 January 2019. Rail Delivery ... more >
East West Rail: the next steps

19/03/2019East West Rail: the next steps

In January, five route options for the central section of East West Rail were published as part of a public consultation on the next phase of the... more >
Rail's role in transit-orientated developments

19/03/2019Rail's role in transit-orientated developments

Jonathan Bray, director at the Urban Transport Group (UTG), argues that transit-oriented developments are the future – and that rail has a ... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >