Myths, Legends and the Origins of London

Myths, Legends and the Origins of London

2.30 Sat 2 May 2020 Tower Hill Tube (meet by the Tower Hill Tram)

Please check that the walks have not been cancelled.

The Head of Bran by John Everett Millais

The walk is led by Kevin Flude, a former archaeologist at the Museum of London, and it looks at the archaeological evidence for the origins of London and reconsiders London’s myths and legends.

London has a rich set of origin myths and legends which are not as well known as they should be. This walk is designed to set that right and give an insight into London’s myths and legends.

Worth knowing for their own right do these origin myths have anything to say about the actual origins of London? This is what this walk explores. It is split into two halves – the first reveals the myths and the second finds out where the ‘truth’ of the origins of London may lie.

 

This is a London Walks Guided Walks. Look at their web site for a list of other of their amazing walks

Medieval London Walk. April 18th 2020

Medieval London Walk. April 18th 2.30
Liverpool St Bishopsgate Exit top of escalator

All London Walks have been cancelled until further notice due to Social Isolation

If this is a disappointment please email me and I’ll send you a print out.

A walk which explores London in the Middle Ages. By 1400 London was dominating the affairs of the Kingdom and was growing into a sophisticated medieval Capital. We begin in the extra-mural area amongst the Monasteries and burial grounds before entering the City via Bishopsgate. and to the site of one of the few remaining medieval Churches at St Helens. We then look at everyday life in the City in the main markets streets of Cornhill, Poultry, Bucklersbury and Cheapside before visiting the Guildhall and ending at the City Wall. We will walk in the footsteps of Geffrey Chaucer, in the muddy City Streets, exploring the unhealthy conditions and poverty amidst great riches and pageantry. We will see where the Italians, the German, the Dutch, the Jews, and the French lived cheek by jowl with native Londoners and immigrants from the Midlands.

This is a London Walks Guided Walk by Kevin Flude

Southwark & Bankside Pub Tour. London Bridge Tube, 7.15 22nd Feb Tooley St Exit

Southwark & Bankside Pub Tour.

London Bridge Tube, 7.15 22nd Feb Tooley St Exit

Southwark has a unique historic and literary heritage and an authentic historic ambiance, with beautiful views of the Thames and the City of London. Plus some of London’s most famous Pubs!

Historic Southwark is chock-full of famous people, and we encounter traces of Chaucer, Shakespeare and Dickens as we explore the history of London’s most famous suburb. Its location at the south end of London Bridge made it a key strategic and commercial site. This was where the great Medieval Inns were located, and from where Chaucer’s pilgrimage set off for Canterbury. Its independence from the City made it a haven for ‘undesirable’ elements and it became the home of the Medieval Stews (Brothels), and also the home of the Shakespearean Stage. On the walk we explore the sites of the Globe, the Rose, the Swan and the Bull and Bear Baiting Pits and Shakespeare’s role in the area. By the Victorian period its nature had changed completely into an industrial centre, home of notorious slums, of debtors prisons, and of charitable hospitals. It became one of the main inspirations for Dickens London fiction whose father was imprisoned here for debt when Dickens was a young boy. It was at the White Hart that Dickens introduced Sam Weller into the flagging story of the Pickwick Sporting Club – the character who saved Dickens literary career.

This is a London Walks Guided Walk by Kevin Flude

Bermondsey – Archaeology & History. 2.30 Feb 22

Bermondsey – Archaeology & History. 2.30 Feb 22 2020
Bermondsey Tube

Bermondsey has a fascinating history which can be traced back to important prehistoric discoveries. It was home to one of Britain’s leading Monasteries, and was, for a time, fashionable. But as London swallowed it up, it became a very polluted and over-crowded industrial area. It was an important part of Britain’s economy and saw the invention of the tin can. It also housed the largest hat making and leather working factories in the world. Of course it attracted the attention of Dickens and it is here that the devilish Bill Sykes met his end.

Although parts of Bermondsey have become fashionable again much of its heritage and charm remain intact which will make a pleasant afternoon stroll.

 

This is a London Walks Guided Walk by Kevin Flude

 

Bishopsgate Ward Walk. 2nd Feb 20 10.45.

Bishopsgate Ward Walk. 2nd Feb 20 10.45.
Liverpool St Tube. Bishopsgate Exit. Top of Escalator

The next in a series of occasional Ward Walks. This is a chance to explore a small area of the historic City of London in detail. The area in question Bishopsgate is split into 2 parts – Within Bishopsgate and Without the gate. This means that the Ward covers two of the most fascinating areas of the City of London – from the Gate to Leadenhall Street, and outside the Gate to the border of Shoreditch. The extramural section was an area of monastic settlements, burial grounds, grand housing, and on the periphery slums. Inside the Gate were prime business locations, important markets and Parish Churches. Along the way we will look at the archaeological discoveries and the historic and literary associations of the area, including local resident William Shakespeare.

This is a London Walks Walk by Kevin Flude

Blackfriars to Fleet St. Pub Tour. Jan 25th 7.15 Blackfriars Tube

Blackfriars to Fleet St.  Pub Tour.
Jan 25th 7.15 Blackfriars Tube

We take a slice of London’s history as we explore the banks of the River Fleet. On the East Bank, the Roman Wall and Blackfriars Monastery in the shadow of St Pauls. On the West Bank, Fleet Street and Legal London. To reflect on our discoveries we stop in some of London most historic and beautiful pubs.

Our timespan will stretch from the Romans to the Present day, and we will discover Palaces, Monasteries, Roman Temples, and visit the home of Katherine of Aragon; the Street of Shame, the best modernist building in the City, and Wren’s best Spire. A feast of topography, history, architecture and literature not to mention the best pubs!

This is a London Walks guided walk given by Kevin Flude

 

London’s East End – The Peasants’ Revolt to Street Art. Dec 21st 2019

London’s East End – The Peasants’ Revolt to Street Art.

Aldgate Tube High Street Exit 2.30pm Sat Dec 21st 2019

The walk sets out to explore as much of the East End as is possible in 2 hours. We start at Aldgate London’s ancient East Gate to investigate Roman and Medieval origins as well as the dramatic events of the Peasants Revolt of 1381.

The fields, Monasteries and villages of Whitechapel, Brick Lane, Spitalfields, Shoreditch and Hoxton became the home for poor people and groups of immigrants excluded from the City’s Guild system. From the 16th century it gave refuge to European protestants fleeing from French Catholic.repression. From the 17th century it welcomed Jewish refugees particularly from Russian, and in the 19th Irish, and exiles joined in.
The area was one of the main centres of industry for London until the 20th Century when the vacant workshops and the crumbling historic housing began to attract artists and bohemian incomers. The opportunities this gave created a vibrant new area and eventually must people began to appreciate the street art that covered virtually every inch of its walls.

Smithfield Pub Tour

The Smithfield Pub Tour takes place at 7.15 pm

on Saturday, November 30.

Meet Kevin just outside the exit of BarbicanTube Stop.

One of the greatest place for London history. Just outside the Roman City Wall and used by the Romans as a cemetary. The “smooth field” became the main live stock market of London, occassional tiltyard and place of public executions. The Peasants’ Rebellion climaxed here. On 23 August 1305 William Wallace (‘Braveheart’) was hanged, drawn and quartered here. Religious martyrs were burnt here and forgers boiled in oil. There are two monasteries which give a great insight into the Reformation, with connections to Thomas More. St Bartholemews hosted Britains’s greatest fair, and provided the oldest hospital in the United Kingdom – the second oldest in Europe. There are more pre-Great Fire buildings than anywhere else in London. There are also the trace of World War 1 bombing and Zeppelin raids. There are street names that sing: Cow Cross Street, Giltspur Street, etc. There are people names that resonate: Ben Franklin, John Milton, Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, Rahere, to name but a few.  Oh,  and did we mention this is where Holmes met Watson and where Benedict Cumberbatch fell off the roof.

 

This is a London Walks walk given by Kevin Flude

Chelsea From Thomas More to the Swinging 60s Saturday Night Pub Tour

Chelsea From Thomas More to the Swinging 60s
Saturday Night Pub Tour

September 28 7.15 Sloane Square Underground

The walk will look at the history of Chelsea from its origins in the Saxon period with the Palace of King Offa to the present day.

Chelsea may be best known as the spiritual home of the ‘Swinging Sixties’ but it has many other claims to fame, and its pleasures are attested by the unrivaled quality of its architecture, its famous residents and its local history.

It was home to: Thomas More, Henry VIII, Turner, Bram Stoker, George Elliot, Rossetti, Whistler, Oscar Wilde, Lawrence Olivier, Mike Jagger, James Bond, George Smiley, Richard Rogers and many many more!.

It was known as a Village of Palaces in the 16th and 17th Centuries but it changed profoundly in the 18th Century when the palaces were torn down and the gardens turned into streets of Town Houses. By the 19th Century it had gone ‘downhill’ to become a centre of bohemian London, but enriched by a colony of writers and artists. The recovery from urban decline began in the 1950’s when Chelsea became the centre of a new vibrant youth culture that rescued London from mediocrity. Sadly, fame contains the seeds of its own destruction, and as it became more fashionable it became less affordable so although the creative ‘buzz’ has moved somewhere cheaper, Chelsea remains a beautiful place to stroll around in company with its illustrious natives.

London Bridge to Bermondsey Guided Walk July 13th

July 13 2019 7.15

London Bridge Tube Stop, Tooley Street exit

This is a London Walk’s walk.

On this walk we are going to explore the eastern half ot the Borough as it was known to Dickens. We walking from the Tube Station east along the River and then follow the route to the famous Monastery at Bermondsey. This route takes us through one of the famous working class areas of Old London, full of traces of London’s extensive industrial heritage, in particular the leather industry.

Enroute we will visit a pub or two, and explore working class lives before ending the tour at Barmsey Abbey, (as Londoners called it). It was patronised by the Queens of England and became one of the most famous places in London. Some of the Ruins survive, and it still influences the street pattern. The tour will provide a history of Southwark since the Bronze Age as well as much more. And then there are a couple of great pubs.