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House of Sir Leonard Woolley

House of Sir Leonard Woolley, 13 Southwold Road


Sir leonard Wooley and T.E Larwence at Ur

Leonard Woolley wasborn at 13 Southwold Road, Clapton.

The Sumerian city of Ur (in modern Iraq) was the burial site of Mesopotamian royalty. Wooley discoveredtombs at Ur of great material wealth during time in charge of excavations there from 1922 until 1934.



Network Rail

Date or period


Current Designation


Architectural Merit


Archaeological Significance




Woolley had previously worked with T.E.Lawrence ('Lawrence of Arabia') from 1912 to 1914 and later in 1919 clearing Carchemish, the Hittite City, and in Sinai.He also worked at Tell el-Amarna, capital of the Egyptian king Akhenaton.

His discovery of geological evidence of a great flood suggested a possible correlation with the deluge described in the book of Genesis.

Leonard Woolley was knighted in 1935.

Agatha Christie thriller, ‘Murder in Mesopotamia’ was inspired by the discovery of the royal tombs at Ur.

Historical Association

Plaque erected by LB of Hackney reads ‘Sir Leonard Woolley, Archaeologist and excavator of Ur, born in a house on this site 1880’. (13 Southwold Road.)

Group Value

Five double fronted houses on the south side of Southwold Road (mid-to-late 19th Century) may possibly point to the character of the house in which Woolley was born.

Sir Leonard Woolley (National Portrait Gallery)

Future Conservation

Plaque maintained

Sources & further reading

Hackney plaques web site.


leabridge.org.uk December 2012