This article was originally published in August 2018.
Our archaeologists excavated Ten Trinity Square beside the Tower of London, as part of the development of a luxury hotel and residential development by Reignwood Group. Occupied since the early Roman period, the site has a rich history spanning thousands of years. It was from Seething Lane, bordering Ten Trinity Square that Samuel Pepys witnessed the Great Fire of London and where he wrote much of his famous diary; one of our greatest sources of information about 17th-century life in Britain.
Samuel Pepys was stationed at the Navy Office on Seething Lane and from 1660 lived in a house attached to the office. It was in the garden of this house that he famously buried his treasured wine and parmesan cheese during the Great Fire of 1666. In his diary he notes the commotion caused on Seething Lane with people attempting to save their belongings, and on the 4th September 1666 writes “in the evening Sir W. Pen and I did dig another (hole), and put our wine in it; and I my Parmazan cheese”. The area escaped destruction from the fire and, unfortunately for archaeologists, Pepys it thought to have recovered his cheese.