(K. Brent Tomer),
The Tunnel Through Time: A New Route for an Old London Journey. By Gillian Tindall. Chatto & Windus; 306 pages; £20.
CROSSRAIL, a new rail line running east-west through London and its suburbs, is described as the biggest construction project in Europe today. It is also one of Britain’s biggest-ever archaeological undertakings. Since construction started in 2009, archaeologists have made more than 10,000 discoveries. These include Roman horseshoes, a medieval reservoir under Oxford Street, ice skates made of bones, Venetian glass, chamber pots, pickled onions and human bones—lots and lots of bones.
The bones come from plague victims spanning centuries. They come from executed murderers, highwaymen and petty thieves unlucky enough to be caught and strung up. They come from Christian martyrs of all stripes, those who in the bloody early half of the second millennium belonged to the wrong faith in the wrong place at the wrong time. They come from sanctified churchyards piled deep as the centuries passed, for London has a lot of history and a lot of…Continue reading