2000 Year Old Thames Wood Jewellery Collection

Designed & handmade in our London workshop
From an acorn to a fully grown majestic oak tree. This is a snapshot of some historical events that have occurred during the wood's existence. How London was formed and founded, how the oak was felled and used by the Romans and some selected history that has occurred during the wood's burial, survival and discovery. The wood itself started growing from 186 BC and was felled by the Romans in 63 AD. The historical snapshot runs from 4000 BC to 2000AD.
For 2000 years,  as the importance and influence of Kings, Queens, and Empires  faded into distant memory, silt and gravel from the Thames  washed over the timbers sealing and preserving them. This ensured that the wood remained in remarkable condition, waiting for its time of discovery. That time is now...
London's Pre History..... 4000 BC Farming Economy in Britain Begins 3000 BC Ritual Monuments including Stonehenge 2000 BC Development of Warrior Chieftains 1000 BC Thames area becomes Trade Centre.   Evidence of fortified sites on surrounding areas  with possible riverside outposts.   Bronze Horse Equipment found.   Ritual offerings of metal artefacts thrown into Thames 700 BC Beginning of Iron goods made locally 500 BC Signs of tribal organization.  Hill Forts, Evidence of Warfare using Chariots & Horses. The Thames is a boundary between Tribal areas in a society dominated by Druid priests and Warriors. 501 BC Beginning of Roman Republic 200 BC Origins of Place Names, especially rivers: "Thames" = "Dark River" 200 BC Hannibal crosses Alps to defeat Romans
From Little Acorns... 186 BC The Oak Trees that will eventually be used  to build the first Roman Docks in London start to grow. 150 BC Coins struck in Britain in imitation of Romans practice.    Possible Horse-Cult in southern England. 146 BC Rome defeats Carthage.  133 BC Constitutional crisis at Rome between Patricians & Plebians. 89 BC Rebuilding of the Great Temple at Jerusalem. 60 BC British Tribes make a League to resist the Roman threat and send assistance to the Rebellious Gauls. 59 BC Caesar begins conquest of Gaul 56 BC British leader Cassivellaunus organises the defence of Britain. 55 BC Caesar invades Britain.  Meets fierce resistance on the shore at Deal but strikes inland.  He is forced to retreat after storms damage his ships. 54 BC Closer trading links established with Romans  in Metals (mainly Tin) and Produce.
Oak Trees Grow. 54 BC Caesar invades a second time. He crosses Kent and arrives at the point where London is later to Grow and Evolve.  His Army fords the River at low tide.  He defeats Cassivellaunus, makes a treaty and then returns to Gaul with British Hostages. 50 BC A Horned Helmet and a Decorated Metal Shield are thrown into the Thames near present-day Battersea. 47 BC Caesar makes himself Supreme in Rome. 44 BC Caesar is assassinated. 31 BC Civil War is ended with defeat of Anthony and Cleopatra. 29 BC Octavian, adopted son of Caesar is named "Augustus" 0 The Christian Era begins. 4 AD The English King Cymbeline is recognised in Rome. 40 AD Emperor Caligula orders Britain to be conquered but then orders the  assembled Legionnaires to pick up Seashells on the shore instead. 41 AD Caligula is murdered and Claudius is made Emperor.
and Grow into... 43 AD Claudius orders invasion of Britain.   Aulus Plautius lands at Richborough (near Sandwich).  Proceeds to London. Builds a pontoon bridge across the Thames and pacifies the area. Then Claudius and the whole Imperial Court, complete with a cohort of  elephants, arrive, cross the bridge and make their way down the road to Colchester.  Colchester is taken and Claudius returns to Rome. 44 AD First Roman roads are built in Britain, chiefly to transport troops, fanning out from London, the lowest crossing point of the Thames. 44 AD Occupation and Subjugation of Britain is extended.   King Cogidubnus is rewarded for his assistance to Romans on the south coast. 51 AD British leader Caractacus sent to Rome as a captive. 59 AD Roman campaign to eliminate Druidism.  Suetonius Paulinus extends  conquests into Wales. Boudicca, widow of the ruler of Iceni in East Anglia is beaten and her Daughters raped by Roman Officials.
Mighty Oaks 60 AD Boudicca's Rising. More than 100,000 British join her Army.  Colchester is destroyed and all the inhabitants, Roman and British are put to Death.  She then moves towards London, according to some sources, crucifying all whom they find along the road. Suetonius reaches London in time after forced marches but decides it cannot  be defended and withdraws to the North West. Boudicca's forces burn London to the ground and massacre the citizens.   They move North West in search of the Roman Army, destroying the city of Verulamium on the way. Suetonius faces the Rebels and, although outnumbered by more than  Ten to One, routs them.  Boudicca and her Daughters commit Suicide. The Romans take their revenge and Slaughter thousands of the British. 61 AD Arrival of Julius Classicianus (representative of the Emperor) stops the Massacres, and implements a new policy of reconciliation and reconstruction.
The Neronian Quay. 62 AD Rapid rebuilding of London. 63 AD Bridge and Dock facilities Rebuilt using Oak trees around 200 Years old that were felled in the winter or spring of this year.   (Study of the quay timbers has revealed new information on the methods of  felling, moving and preparing of the baulks.  Some of the baulks, had axed ends,  showing the original felling and "bucking" cuts-removal of the crown.   The axed ends were also perforated across one or more corners to form a Notch -as shown - with rope marks, which imply that they were used for lifting or  hauling the timbers.  It is not yet clear whether these were added in the forest  for hauling out the logs before or after rough squaring, or were used during  transportation or even on site.  The logs were squared into baulks by a technique  known as "notch and chop": a series of parallel v-shaped notches were cut by axe  into each face of the log, then the intervening block chopped out. The roughly squared faces were then dressed with adzes.  All this work was  carried out before the baulks arrived on site; all that remained to be done was to  measure and cut the lap joints -as shown- during assembly.
Roman London... 63 AD Legend that Joseph of Arimathea comes to Britain.   Possible beginning of the spread of Christianity in secret. 70 AD Basilica and Amphitheatre begun. 77 AD Wales subjugated. 90 AD Forum and Basilica rebuilt on a massive scale - the largest North  of the Alps.  Building of a Garrison (where the Barbican area now is). 100 AD Large Public Baths on slope above the Thames, (which is now called Upper Thames Street). 110 AD Docks East of bridge are extended into the river to make a Quay for high and low water.  Fish products are manufactured near the Quayside. 120 AD Larger Amphitheatre is built. 122 AD Emperor Hadrian visits Britain.  Ends policy of further conquest. Builds Wall to exclude the Scots (Hadrians Wall). 130 AD Great Fire. Riverside buildings are destroyed.  Possible rebellions. Unexplained disappearance of the Ninth Legion from York.
Under Attack. 131 AD Riverside rapidly rebuilt, though other areas of London languish 138 AD Emperor Antonius Pius extends conquests and builds a new turf wall further into Scotland. 167 AD According to tradition Phagan and Deruvian are sent by Pope Eleutherius to convert the British. 200 AD A City Wall is built around London. 240 AD Saxon raids on London and the Coast.  Beginning of ring of defensive fortresses on the East Coast. 260 AD London appears to be declining in prosperity - buildings are deserted. 312 AD Conversion of Emperor Constantine.  Persecution of Christians end. 314 AD Bishop of London attends conference in Arles. 350 AD Defensive wall along London's waterfront impedes trade. Destruction of the Temple of Mithras in London. 360 AD Some civilian rebuilding in London. Troops from Britain are used to defend against Germanic Tribes threatening the Romans Eastern borders.
Rebuilding London. 407 AD Last Roman troops are withdrawn from Britain. London becomes deserted, except for Migrants.  The Roman buildings fall into ruin, with evidence of people camping in the Rubble. 650 AD Community of Ludenwic growing up to the West of the ruined  Roman City. Riverside activity continues. Building of St. Paul's inside the old City Walls. Danish and Viking invasions of Britain 886 AD Alfred re-establishes City inside old walls, it is called Ludenburg. 994 AD Unsuccessful raid on London by Danes and Norwegians. Westminster Abbey is built 1016 Unsuccessful siege of London by Cnut, but Cnut is accepted as  King soon afterwards. 1042 Prosperity returns to London. Edward the Confessor, a Saxon, becomes King.  Builds a Palace at Westminster and rebuilds Westminster Abbey. 1066 William the Conqueror defeats Harold at the Battle of Hastings.
The Norman Grip. 1068 William Continues building Castles across the whole country. The White Tower is built expressly to show Londoners who is in control now. 1087 By this date the whole of the Ruling Classes have been changed through the Norman Conquest.  There is even a new Language.  Major legacy of the Doomsday Book. By the time William Dies in 1087 around  100 Major Castles have been built, including Warwick and Windsor that  survive to this day.  Great Fire in London; Saxon St. Paul's is destroyed.     The other Norman Kings, William II, Stephen, and Henry I rule England  with continued stern control. 1154  Henry II ascends to the throne and increases London's and  Englands prosperity, expanding his Empire into parts of France (which were  held for the next 500 Years). 1170  Henry II orders for Thomas Becket to be Stabbed & Murdered at the  High Altar in Canterbury Cathedral.  After Henry II there are many Power  Struggles within England culminating in the defeat of King John by the  Barons, but being kept on the throne by signing the Magna Carta, which stated  that the King only ruled by the Will of the People.
To be or not to be... 1370-1413 Various King's. Peasant Uprising's against the Poll Tax, led by Watt Tyler, who meets with King Richard on London Bridge. (see 1990) 1413  Henry V's brief and colourful Reign includes Victory at Agincourt. 1453  Only Calais in France remains as English foothold in Europe. 1485  The Battle of Bosworth.  Truce signed with France.  Henry VII seizes the Throne.  England enters a new period of History. 1509  Henry VIII is made King.  Has six Wives, "divorced, beheaded, died divorced, beheaded, survived", they bear two Daughters, Mary & Elizabeth, and a Son, Edward.  During his Reign, Henry dissolves the Roman Catholic  Church in Britain, destroys the Monasteries and sets up the Church of England. 1547  Death of Henry VIII.  Edward VI is now King. 1553  Death of Edward VI.  Accession of Mary I. 1558  Death of Mary I.  Elizabeth I is crowned. 1564  William Shakespeare is born. 1581  Francis Drake is knighted by the Queen. 1588 Defeat of the Spanish Armada. 1603 Elizabeth Dies, James I becomes King.
The English Republic. 1604 Union of England and Scotland proposed 1605 Guy Fawkes & the Gunpowder Plot discovered. The Gunpowder Plot  is still remembered to this Day, with Fireworks and the burning of a "Guy" on Bonfire Night, November the 5th.  1607 Establishment of first English colony in America at Jamestown, Virginia. 1614 Publication of John Napier's Description (on logarithms) 1615 Commission established to prevent further building in London. 1616 William Shakespeare Dies. 1618 The beginning of the Thirty Years' War. 1619 William Harvey discovers the circulation of blood within the body. 1620 Pilgrim Fathers establish a colony at Plymouth, New England. 1622 Massacre of Jamestown settlers by Indians. 1642 English Civil War. 1646 The end of the civil War. 1648 The New Model Army occupy London for the second time. 1649 Charles I is Executed. England is declared as a Republic. Cromwell sets off to suppress the Irish Rebellion, spawning today's troubles in N. Ireland.
Doesn't Last Long. 1653 Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector.  He allows readmission of Jews to England. 1658 Death of Oliver Cromwell.  1660 Restoration of Charles II. 1665 The Great Plague.  1666 The Great Fire of London.  Combined with the plague 70,000 die in London 1685 Death of Charles II. Accession of James II. Huguenots flee to England.  1688 James II is forced to flee to France because of his Roman Catholic beliefs. 1689 Coronation of William III & Mary II.  1694 Bank of England is created.  1702 Accession of Queen Anne upon the Death of William III.  The Daily Courant is England's first daily newspaper. 1707 Act of Union of England and Scotland as Great Britain is ratified.  1714 Death of Queen Anne; accession of George I, who was a German. 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie is defeated at Culloden.
Industrial Revolution. 1750  It takes 8 Tons of Coal to produce 1 Ton of Iron. 1760 George III becomes the first British born King for 50 Years. 1776 Declaration of Independence by the American Colonies. 1785 The Industrial Revolution is in full swing.  Coal Fires light the sky as  they power Steam Engines in Factories. 1789 The French Revolution. 1796 Jenner discovers Vaccination for Smallpox. 1812 Charles Dickens is born. War with the US. 1814 War between Britain and the US ends with a series of agreements that settle the Canadian Frontier, leaving it virtually demilitarized. 1815 Wellington's Victory at Waterloo marks the end of Major Wars in Europe for a Century. 1820 George III Dies.  George IV is crowned. 1830 George III Dies and William IV accedes to the throne. 1832 The Great Reform act. 1835 Samuel Colt makes his Revolver.
Theory of Evolution. 1837 Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution. William IV dies. Queen Victoria starts her 64 year Reign. She was 18 years old. 1851 The Great Exhibition in Hyde Park.  A new Parliament building is constructed at Westminster after the old building was burnt down. 1854 Charge and Massacre of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War in Russia where Florence Nightingale starts to revolutionise nursing. In the following years Slavery is finally abolished throughout the Empire. 1861 The American Civil War.  It is arguably the first Modern War. 1865 Marks the end of the Civil War in America, with the North gaining Victory over the South. 1870  Charles Dickens Dies 1900 Britain has the Largest Navy in the World. 1901 Queen Victoria Dies.  Edward VII is Crowned King.  Britain is being challenged militarily by Germany.  European Countries rush to arm and protect themselves with a series of Alliances.  Marconi transmits a signal from Cornwall which is detected in Newfoundland.
The Great War. 1903 Wilbur & Orville Wright fly in their heavier-than-air Machine. 1905 Einstein publishes his Theory of Relativity. 1906 Finnish Women become the first to vote in Europe. 1907 Picasso breaks all accepted rules of composition, perspective and rules of nature, with his painting "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon". 1908 Ford's Model 'T' is produced in Detroit. 1910 Edward VII dies.  George V takes his oath as King. 1912 The Titanic sinks on her Maiden Voyage. 1914 The First World War begins.  Also known as The Great War. 1917 The Russian Revolution.  The US enters the War to " save democracy" The Senate Votes for Prohibition.  German aircraft Bomb London. 1918 End of the Great War.  Germany admits defeat and signs Armistice. Ten Million people die in the War.  Women Vote for the first time in Britain. 1926 John Logie Baird demonstrates Television. 1928 Alexander Fleming discovers Penicillin. 1929 It is announced that all London's Buses will be Red. Black Thursday - Wall Street Crashes, signalling the start of the Depression.
World War II. 1932 The BBC opens its new London Headquarters. 1933 Hitler takes over as Chancellor of Germany.  The Terror begins. 1936 George V dies. Edward VIII is proclaimed King.  Cable Street Riots  in London- 100,000 people Oppose Mosley's Black Shirted Fascists.   London's Crystal Palace burns down.  Edward VIII renounces Crown for  Love of Mrs. Simpson. 1937 George VI is Crowned King. 1939 Britain declares War with Germany. 1941 The Battle of Britain.  Spitfires.  London is continuously Bombed by the  German Luftwaffe.  It is known as the Blitz.  St. Paul's cathedral miraculously  survives attacks.   The US joins the War after the Japanese Bomb Pearl Harbour. 1944 D-Day.  Allied troops storm ashore in Normandy.  Germany attacks London with V-1 Flying Bombs, known as Doodlebugs.  V-2's are then  launched against London.  They are the first Missile attacks ever. The first hits Chiswick in West London.
The Man in the Moon. 1945 April 30th Hitler shoots himself.  Germany Surrenders.  Two Atom Bombs are dropped on Hiroshima & Nagasaki.  Japan surrenders.  The true Horrors of the War are revealed.  Genocide of the Jews- known as The Holocaust.  Russia and China's death toll is terrifying.  An estimated 55 Million people have died during the war.  1953 George VI dies and Queen Elizabeth's reign starts. 1951 The Festival of Britain.   The Royal Festival Hall opens on the South Bank of the Thames. 1957 Russia is the first into Space with its successful launch of Sputnik-I. 1961 Yuri Gagarin is the first Man in Space. 1964 The Beatles, Mini Skirt and Mohamed Ali. 1966 England win Football's World Cup, beating Germany 4-2. 1969 Neil Armstrong is the First Man on the Moon. 1971 London Bridge is transported brick by brick and reassembled at Lake Havasu in Arizona USA. Hot Pants are the latest thing in fashion.
Time for Reflection. 1981 The Space shuttle Columbia is the first Re-usable Spacecraft The Prince of Wales marries Lady Diana Spencer.  The age of the silicon chip is upon us; in the next few years it will transform the flow of information. 1985 Live Aid appeal raises 50 million for the relief of starving Africans. 1986  The Worlds worst nuclear accident at Chernobyl, in Russia. 1988 Mikhail Gorbachev starts the integration of Russia with the West. 1989  The Berlin Wall is dismantled.  Communism collapses throughout Europe. The Superpowers declare the end of the Cold War. 1990  Nelson Mandela is a Free Man after 27 Years in Prison. Poll Tax riot in London marks the end of the Thatcher Years (see 1370 - 1413) 1994-1996  Archaeologists discover Original Roman Quay that was built when they first occupied Britain in 43 AD. 1997 Lady Diana dies in a tragic car accident. 1999 The House of Lords is reformed.  Hereditary Peerage comes to an end. The Roman Calendar Numerals change from MCMXCVIIII or MDCCCCLXXXXVIIII to just MM.  The Year 2000...
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