Roman London - the London wall
These pages are based on a "Royal Commission On Historical Monuments 1834" - actually it is 1928; which is in the public domain.
(24) . London Wall, Copthall Avenue. A branch of the Walbrook passed under the
wall a little West of Little Bell Alley (now Copthall Avenue).
J. E. Price's description of the remains discovered here is as follows :
" It was at this point adjoining the Swan’s Nest Tavern . . . which yet stands, that in the year 1835 an interesting discovery of remains was made. A pit or well was disclosed which had been carefully planked with boards, and which was found to contain a store of earthenware vessels of divers patterns and capacities, together with a coin of Allectus. Some interesting indications of a red brick arch for the transit of water have been observed, but are now entirely gone. This
structure was in Bell Alley, and will doubtless be observed in other places. In height it measured nearly 6 feet and 4 feet in width. It was supported on either side by massive piles of elm between which the river ran. These were firmly driven into the natural soil and were 6 feet long, the total depth of the structure being nearly 18 feet from the level of the street. . . . The black soil which marks the river-bed abounds in bones of animals, including Bos longifrons, etc. The objects found are deposited at Leathersellers Hall ".
Although the actual structure of the wall is not recorded to have been observed here, the culvert described would appear to be that which conducted the water of the West branch of the Walbrook into the city.