When the Romans arrived in Britain in AD43 they looked for a place to found a settlement along the Thames. A patch of high ground to the north, between two rivers, was the ideal spot - and so the city of Londinium was founded. Those rivers were the Fleet and Walbrook, two sources of drinking water.
Today you can still follow the courses of those lost rivers: the Fleet flows into the Thames at Blackfriars, while the Walbrook begins around Finsbury Circus and ends up going down Dowgate, by Cannon Street.The Walbrook may originally have acted as a sort of boundary. Whatever its purpose was, this waterlogged valley has preserved some remarkable finds unearthed by archaeologists from the Museum of London. Recently some went on show at the Museum. Digs took place at Copthall Court and Angel Court, to the east of Moorgate, as well as the National Safe Deposit Company and Bucklersbury House, close to the Mansion House.
Among the artefacts they found were some Roman tools, including a bradawl and stamp, the latter with the mark ‘MPBR’, which stands for M(ETALLA) P(ROVINCIAE) BR(ITANNIAE). Items with a stamp are quite common, but the tool used to make such market are rare. Other implements were also marked with the owner’s name; Agathangelus operated throughout Gaul for some 50 years in the 1st century AD. Some tools also indicated the various skills and occupations of these early citizens, such as a coopers’ croze, used for making the groove in which the barrelhead was inserted. Excavations at the new Bloomberg building, situated on the Walbrook, have also yielded some amazing finds, including the first known reference to London.