When you're walking along by the river, in Kingston upon Thames, it's worth keeping your eyes peeled. Along with all the appealing riverside life you might expect, if you stay alert, you're likely to encounter a great surprise.
Look into the windows (rather than the river) as you walk past John Lewis, and you'll notice some discreet lettering and an understated placard, indicating that you are in front of a 14th Century Cellar. Unfortunately, full public access is only granted on a couple of occasions, annually, during local Heritage days (usually in September).
Take the time to look through the windows and your efforts will be rewarded. You'll discover an amazing undercroft, uncovered in 1900, by builders working on a merchant's house - dating back to the 14th century. The history of the chalk, flint and stone walls is impressive and diverse. The walls, stored in the John Lewis foundations, used to act as support on a roadway crossing above London Bridge, centuries ago. Their colour and structure is beautiful and a thought provoking insight into the accomplished building skills of our forebears.
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