The East London Line Project, London’s latest railway, presented a unique opportunity to discover more about some of London’s earliest railways, including parts of one of the world’s first passenger railways, the Eastern Counties of 1840. Construction led to important archaeological discoveries in Shoreditch. The sparsely occupied hinterland of Roman London here, either side of Roman Ermine Street, was used for occasional burials. Medieval development began with the foundation of Holywell priory on the west side of Shoreditch High Street. Tudor buildings included a mansion on the site of the priory. The spread of the suburbs in the 17th and 18th centuries transformed the area and encouraged large-scale quarrying of brickearth and brickmaking nearby. Revised edition published February 2010; 1st edition published June 2009.
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