A “completely unique” Roman mausoleum has been discovered by archaeologists in south London.

The remains of the structure at the Liberty of Southwark site in Borough just to the south side of London Bridge have been described as “extremely rare” and feature preserved floors and walls.

Initial interpretation suggests the mausoleum was used as some form of burial ground or tomb for wealthier members of Roman society.

The excavation was led by the Museum of London on behalf of Landsec and Transport for London (TfL).

It is probably the most intact Roman mausoleum ever discovered in Britain. The condition of preservation of the structure which has a central mosaic, with surrounding raised platforms and intact steps to its lowest side is exceptional. The huge surprise was the discovery of a similarly designed mosaic beneath the first floor suggesting the building was modified or renovated at some point. The archaeology suggests that it would have been a substantial building possibly two storeys high.

Although no burials were found, artefactual evidence included more than 100 coins, fragments of pottery, roofing tiles and ferrous objects.

Work on creating a permanent display is planned, says the team behind the find.

Photo courtesy BBC News