Binge-drinking an age-old problem

Experts have uncovered evidence that 12th century Londoners drank ale by the gallon, starting at breakfast time, due to poor quality drinking water.

"Most people, including children, drank ale made from malted barley without hops," said John Clark, curator of the Medieval London gallery at the Museum of London. "The even drank ale for breakfast, and got through up to a gallon, or four-and-a-half litres, a day each. At a price of a penny per gallon, only the poorest had to make do with water."

Medieval drinking vessels, including everyday pottery mugs and rare enamelled wine goblets, will form part of an exhibit in the new gallery at the Museum of London.