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Archaeologists discovered London’s oldest theatre

London’s earliest playhouse may additionally have been discovered at a housing redevelopment in Whitechapel, archaeologists have said.

The Red Lion was once concept to be the first purpose-built theatre of the Elizabethan generation however its place has long been disputed.
Timber structures, artefacts and buildings had been observed during excavations in Stepney Way, east London, final year.
Archaeologist Stephen White described it as an “extraordinary” discovery.
The Red Lion is thought to have been constructed in about 1567 by using John Brayne, beforehand of his development of The Theatre in Shoreditch, which he performed with James Burbage in 1576.

Burbage was a member of appearing agency The Lord Chamberlain’s Men and The Theatre was once the first permanent domestic for performing troupes, staging a younger William Shakespeare’s performs in the 1590s.
Little is acknowledged about the Red Lion, with modern-day details confined to two court cases in 1567 and 1569 that stated “the red lion” and “a farme house”, which had an out of doors stage and seating.
In January 2019, archaeologists started out to uncover a rectangular timber structure made up of 144 surviving timbers, with postholes round it, which ought to have been “scaffolds” or galleried seating.

The site measures 12.3m (40ft) by means of 9.3m (31ft) and intently suits the dimensions referred to in the lawsuits, experts said.
The excavations have been carried out by means of Archaeology South-East, part of UCL’s Institute of Archaeology, earlier than building work started out at 85 Stepney Way.
Mr White, who directed the work, said: “After nearly 500 years, the remains of the Red Lion playhouse, which marked the dawn of Elizabethan theatre, may have finally been found.”

“The strength of the combined evidence – archaeological remains of buildings, in the right location, of the right period – seem to match up with characteristics of the playhouse recorded in early documents.”
Buildings from the fifteenth and 16th Century that had been similarly developed over the next 100 years had been also discovered in the north-east corner of the site.
Experts said they believed these ought to have been section of the Red Lion Inn, which is thinking to have been developed from a farmstead on the site.
Two beer cellars, beakers, bottles and tankards had been observed amongst the remains.

The Theatre and The Curtain playhouses had been discovered at some stage in the previous decade at some point of excavations in Shoreditch, while the Boar’s Head has been discovered in Aldgate.
Emily Gee, from Historic England, said the state-of-the-art discovery was once “tantalising”.
She delivered the crew would “continue to work closely with the developer to interpret these archaeological remains and display them”.

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