800 Year Old Roof Finial Found Beside Thames

A piece of muddy terracotta found on banks of the Thames River in England turned out to be a medieval roof finial. The animal shaped finial is believed to be up to 800 years old, some say it is an elephant, others say owl. The finial is expected to provide rare insight into the roofs of medieval London. Little is known since a fire destroyed much of the area’s landscape in 1666.

The ornamental finial would have decorated the ridges of tiled roof buildings in London and other large towns. The common roofs of the time would have been thatch.

The finial was found by amateur archeologists operating under the port of London authority and the Museum of London; they regularly search the beaches and mudflats for artifacts. The museum is conducting research to further their knowledge about the way London looked over 6 centuries ago. Experts will clean
and study the finial and their progress can be followed online at www.museumoflondon.org

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