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Tudors are famous for their beautiful and ornate clothing - and it seems their footwear was ahead of the times, too.

Archaeologists have uncovered one of the largest hauls of Tudor shoes during digging work on Crossrail.

The shoes are similar to today's modern espadrilles, and were found alongside other styles that fastened with a strap over the instep.

The unisex slip-ons worn by Elizabethans more than 450 years ago were trendy for the time, with low heels fashionable at Elizabeth's court...

'Trendy' Tudor shoes that look like modern ESPADRILLES are found beneath London by Crossrail diggers


This is the largest hauls of Tudor shoes during digging work on Crossrail

The leather shoes were made around 1550 and worn by ordinary Londoners

The unisex slip-ons had low heels which were fashionable at Elizabeth's court

Crossrail work has uncovered 10,000 objects spanning 55 million years


By Phoebe Weston For Mailonline
22 February 2017

Tudors are famous for their beautiful and ornate clothing - and it seems their footwear was ahead of the times, too.

Archaeologists have uncovered one of the largest hauls of Tudor shoes during digging work on Crossrail.

The shoes are similar to today's modern espadrilles, and were found alongside other styles that fastened with a strap over the instep.

The unisex slip-ons worn by Elizabethans more than 450 years ago were on trendy for the time, with low heels fashionable at Elizabeth's court.


The Tudor shoes (pictured left) are similar to today's modern versions, including espadrilles (pictured right), and were found alongside other styles that fastened with a strap over the instep


A total of 22 individual shoes made of thick cattle leather (pictured left) that would have belonged to ordinary Londoners were found by Crossrail archaeologists. They resemble the espadrilles pictured right

A total of 22 individual shoes made of thick cattle leather that would have belonged to ordinary Londoners were found by Crossrail archaeologists.

'The shoes were found in a massive rediscovered ditch called the Faggeswell brook that ran down to the old Fleet River', Sam Pfizenmaier, a senior archaeologist at Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) told MailOnline.

'They were pretty fashionable examples, similar to a modern deck shoe or espadrille', he said.

The shoes were found with other general household rubbish including cooking wares, money boxes, a horse harness and ceramic wares.

'Sometime around 1570-90 the ditch was becoming very boggy, partly as it was being used as a dump for the neighbourhoods rubbish', Mr Pfizenmaier said.

These conditions were ideal for the preservation of leather goods.

The average size of a man was 5ft 6in and a women 5ft 3in then - so the shoes were a bit smaller than the ones we wear today.

The shoes were all fairly generic apart from one which belonged to a child and was decorated.


The Tudor shoes were found alongside other household waste - including cooking wares, money boxes, a horse harness and ceramic wares. They were fashionable at the time, similar to a modern deck shoe or espadrille


In the late 16th century Charterhouse Square, where these objects were uncovered, was a fashionable and desired place to live

'We know that at this time (late 16th century) Charterhouse Square was a fashionable and desired place to live.

'So itís likely that they originated from these wealthy households and were chucked in the ditch with the rest of the rubbish', Mr Pfizenmaier said.

At the end of the 16th century, flatter shoes became more fashionable but at the start of the century, heels were considered trendy.

Archaeologists don't know the reason for this change.

'From the clothes worn by noble families to waste created by butchers working at nearby Smithfield Market, these finds paint a picture of London as a vibrant late 16th-century trade hub, similar to London of today', said Mr Pfizenmaier.

MOLA shoe expert Beth Richardson said: 'They date from 1550 to 1580. It's one of the largest collections of Elizabethan shoes of its kind.'

Since Crossrail began construction in 2009 more than 200 archaeologists have unearthed over 10,000 objects from 40 locations, spanning 55 million years.

Some of the finds mentioned are on display in a major new exhibition, 'Tunnel: The Archaeology of Crossrail', at the Museum of London Docklands until September 2017.


The unisex slip-ons worn by Elizabethans more than 450 years ago were actually trendy for the time. They were found in a big ditch with other household rubbish

The site near Charterhouse Square in the heart of the capital has already provided remarkable information about the Black Death.

New analysis of artefacts extracted from the re-discovered Faggeswell brook that flowed past Charterhouse Square revealed more about the people living in the area during the 16th and 17th Centuries.

Due to the wet ground conditions in the area of the brook archaeologists were able to recover rarely found Tudor textiles - leather and plant remains all preserved in excellent condition.


An illustration of Charterhouse Square from the mid-1700s. It was a fashionable place to live at the time

The damp conditions stopped oxygen from decaying the organic materials providing a rare and invaluable insight into the lives of ordinary Londoners and the gentry.

The results from the main excavation that ended in 2013 are reported in a new book 'Charterhouse Square: Black Death Cemetery and Carthusian Monastery, Meat Market and Suburb.'

It explores the life of the site surrounding the Charterhouse through archaeology and the history of the area.

MOLA began work on the Crossrail site at Farringdon in 2013.

DNA analysis on skeletons showed it was used as a burial site during the Black Death of 1348-50.


Part of a three-part horse harness with an unusually ornate buckle was also found near Smithfield Market. It was made in the 16th century


MOLA began work on the Crossrail site at Farringdon in 2013. These finds (a horse harness left and woven bands on the right) paint a picture of London as a late 16th-century trade hub

Don Walker, a senior osteologist at MOLA, said: 'We are still learning about the spread of medieval plague and the evolution of the disease as a whole

'Charterhouse helps us to understand how Londoners reacted to their first experience of the Black Death.'

The Charterhouse, set deep within stone walls in the heart of Clerkenwell, is a remarkable assembly of historic buildings dating from the 14th century.


A near complete tripod pipkin (used for cooking over direct heat) with internal green glaze was also found in the dump


A Rhenish stoneware tankard fragment apparently depicting Venus and the judgement of Paris (from Greek mythology, leading up to the Trojan war) was also found in Charterhouse Square


Over the years it has been a religious site, a grand Tudor mansion, a school and, as it has remained for over 400 years, an almshouse.

On Tuesday Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, will visit and formally open a new development at the Charterhouse.

Other belongings include a horse harness strap with an unusually ornate buckle and knotted reins and a scabbard for holding a sword, knife or other large blade.

Two distinctive silk bands used for decorative trimming for trendy clothes of the time were also found.

One was possibly made in Spain or the Spanish Netherlands and the other in Italy.

Ceramic wares signifying high status - as well as those that would have been in everyday use - were other treasures.

There was a rare German tankard depicting Venus and the judgement of Paris as well as a near complete tripod pipkin (used for cooking over direct heat) with internal green glaze.


Other Crossrail finds: Pictured is a map showing some of the key finds across the capital such as Victorian ginger jars near Tottenham Court Road and medieval animal bones near Liverpool Street

TUDOR SHOES

Archaeologists uncovered 22 shoes made of thick leather in Farringdon in central London.

These unisex slip-ons would have belonged to ordinary Londoners 450 years ago.

Low heels were fashionable at Elizabeth's court.

The shoes were all fairly generic apart from one which belonged to a child and was decorated.

It's one of the largest collections of Elizabethan shoes of its kind.


THE EXHIBITION

The exhibition 'Tunnel: The Archaeology of Crossrail' runs from 10 February to 3 September.

It is in the Museum of London Docklands on the the Isle of Dogs in east London.

There are 500 objects on display which span 8,000 years of human history.

It is free entrance.

Click here (external - login to view) for more info.

Read more: Tudor shoes found beneath Crossrail in central London | Daily Mail Online
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Last edited by Blackleaf; Feb 23rd, 2017 at 05:25 AM..