Roman Archaeology and Culture Aug 3 2019

London Bridge Underground Tooley Street Exit

This walk is about the amazing archaeological discoveries of Roman London, and an attempt to bring to life through archaeology and Roman literary sources what it was like to live in a provincial Roman Capital..

We begin with the discovery of the location of the Roman Bridge, and  explore Roman Government on the site of the Roman Town Hall.  We walk to what has been  called the ‘the Pompeii of the North’.  and then past the Temple of Mithras. We finish with a walk along the Roman High Street to end at the site of the  Roman Amphitheatre.

The Archaeology of London Bridge July 14th

10:45 Monument Tube, Fish Street hill exit 1

This is a London Walks’  Walk

London Bridge is not only a charismatic part of London’s history and image but is also the key to much of the History of London. On this walk we explore the area both north and south of the famous London Bridge.

The area has been extensively excavated in modern times. On the north side we explore evidence for the origins of the Bridge, and the early Roman Port of London. Around the Monument we discover the archaeological evidence that gives new details of the events of 1666 and the Great Fire of London.

We then discuss the role of the Bridge as the principle crossing point of the Thames before going south over the Bridge to the Historic Borough of Southwark.

Excavations have shown that this area was as important as the North Bank in the Roman period, and we investigate how the area became depopulated when Roman rule ended.

The Bridge we now know was fundamental to the restoration of London in the 9th Century, and to the vibrant culture in the area that led to the prolification of Theatres in the Tudor period.

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.

Jane Austen’s London Walk

!8th Century Bonnets cartoon

Last one: 7.15 15th June 2019 Green Park Underground

(by the fountain in the Park)

This was a London Walks Walk

Also Given on 4 May 2019

The walk takes in the area of the London section of Sense and Sensibility. This is where Jane Austen frequented when visiting her banking brother, Henry. He  lived here during his ‘successful’ period, after resigning as a Captain in the Militia and setting up a bank to help soldiers pay for their commissions.  He then did what all good bankers do – went bankrupt and ruined himself, family and friends.   His uncle lost 10,000 pounds; his rich brother, Edward Knight lost £20,000. (that is 2/5ths of the fortune of Willoughby’s wife, and equal  to the income of Darcy,  100 times the annual income of Mrs Austen after her husband died)  i.e. a heck of a lot of money.   Jane lost £13.

But this area was also the centre of the Ton – the wealthy elite of Regency London. It was here that the French Royal family, in exile, hung out, and the haunt of Beau Brummel and Prinny, the Prince Regent, loungers in chief who were so well satirised in the figure of Sir Walter Elliot.   This is where the Dandies lounged, leered and shopped.  Here the rich could get their guns, swords, cigars, snuff, hats, shoes, tailored clothes, uniforms, wine, prostitutes, lovers.   They came to visit art galleries, see panoramas of European Cities, to ‘see’ the invisible women living in her glass jar, to choose their Wedgwood pottery.

And what is astonishing is that this is still where the megarich do exactly the same things: hang out and shop.  All the top brands are here, and instead of people like John Willoughy are to be found Russian Oligarchs, and the rich of the Emirates, and every other country in the world.  And most marvellously many of the shops survive into the present day. The same shops and shop fronts still in use.  They catered to the stupidly wealthy of the 18th Century are now catering for the stupidly wealthy of the 21st Century.  This is where you can buy luxury yachts.

 

So we follow Jane and Henry, and see the ghost traces left by immoral Willoughby,  sensible Elinor,  overwrought Marianne,  dull but nice Edward Ferrars,  dull and horrible Robert Ferrars, stolid Colonel Brandon, vulgar but kind  Mrs Jennings and her unforgivably vulgar daughter Mrs Palmer with her despairing husband; the Middletons, the Steeles gals ruthlessly working their assets.   Plus we have a little look at the relationship between Prinny and Beau Brummel, and the terrible childbed of Princess Charlotte.

It is a pub tour. and on the last tour we went to the King’s Head on Albermarle Street.  Nice early 19th Century pub with  an interesting basement bar.   We finished the Golden Lion which is a delightful little wainscotted pub up an ally near St James Palace.