London Temple of Mithras
Ongoing heritage advice in the remains of the Roman temple of Mithras - excavated in 1954, reconstructed inaccurately in 1962, and dismantled again in 2012 in preparation for reconstruction on its original site.
Catherine Woolfitt has assisted MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) with treatment of the London Mithras temple remains since 2005, providing technical advice and documentation for submission to the local planning authority. Initially this entailed assessment of the materials used in the 1962 reconstruction and the feasibility of dismantling it, using various methods. Subsequently, small scale trials were devised using diamond hydraulic chain saws to cut through the very hard Portland cement based mortar joints, followed by removal of residues by hand with masonry tools. Based on the success of these trials, the reconstruction was dismantled in 2011-12 and the building materials (Roman brick and Kentish ragstone) were catalogued and stored. Ongoing advice is provided in proposals for reconstruction of the Roman temple, on its original site, using the salvaged materials.