Archaeology South-East


ASE’s Top Discoveries of 2020: The Red Lion Playhouse

4 December 2020

As well as being one of ASE's top discoveries this year, the Red Lion Playhouse has also been chosen to be in the Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries of the year by Archaeology Magazine!

Still of a 3D model showing a rectangular structure

We’re incredibly excited to announce that our discovery of the Red Lion Playhouse, the earliest purpose-built Elizabethan playhouse in Britain, has been chosen to be among the top 10 discoveries of 2020 by Archaeology Magazine! You can see it amongst the other archaeological revelations here: https://www.archaeology.org/issues/406-2101/features/9263-top-10-discoveries-of-2020

The Red Lion is definitely among our top sites of the year at ASE, which brings us to a new 3 week series for December detailing our favourite discoveries. Each Friday we’ll reminisce about the best archaeology that we’ve excavated, investigated and researched in 2020. And of course, this week we’re starting with the Red Lion Playhouse!

In January 2019, ASE’s excavations in Whitechapel were in full swing. Based on historical maps and documents, we knew the site could be the location of the Red Lion, but our hopes of finding evidence of this illusive and highly significant archaeological site were not high. So when we started to uncover a rectangular timber structure, the same dimensions as the Red Lion Stage mentioned in historical lawsuits, we started to get rather excited! 

You can read all about the discovery in this blog post
Or you can listen to a podcast with lead Archaeologist Stephen White;
And don’t forget to (virtually) check out the timber structure in 3D form!