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.
Shakespeare’s London Locations – The places in the plays
2.30pm 21 Dec 19 Shoreditch High Street Overground Station
Most Shakespeare walks in London are biographical, this one is different. It is about the places in his plays. Exploring the places, the plays and the people the walk will hope to bring Shakespeare’s London to life amd give some insight to Shakespeare. And OK, there will be, perchance, something about his life in London, but we hope to keep this as one of those walks ‘which does what is says on the tin’. i.e. keeps focussed on the ‘places in the plays’. Sadly, in the 2 hours we have we won’t be able to get to Verona, or Venice but we might be able to shed some light on those locations by exploring their London equivalents.
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
Hampstead Village Pub Walk
Hampstead Underground station, London 7.15 Saturday 23 Nov 2019
Hampstead is one of the best place to be on a Saturday night in London. It’s the roof of London. We’ll look down and see the lights of the greatest city on earth spread out before us. On a clear night we’ll even nip into the Old Observatory for a look through the telescope at the starry heavens above. What else? Well, it’s London at its most picturesque – a perfectly preserved Georgian village. There’s a superb cast of characters – ranging from the highwayman Dick Turpin to the painter Constable to the poet Keats; The Du Mauriers, Freud and D.H. Lawrence to Liam Gallagher and Boy George; from Elizabeth Taylor and Rex Harrison to Peter O’Toole and Jeremy Irons. There’s London’s most villagey atmosphere, great cafes, magnificent Hampstead Heath, and well-hidden, cosy old pubs you’ll fall in love with. This is a great walk – they just don’t come any better. N.B. the walk ends just round the corner from Hampstead Tube.
This is a London Walks Guided Walk given by Kevin Flude
In Search of Saxon London
2.30 Nov 30th Moorgate Tube Exit (West side)
The period between the end of Roman Londinium and the Norman Conquest of 1066 has long been controversial. In this walk we explore the evidence for Saxon London, from the Roman Walls to the River Thames and London Bridge.
The Romans gave the name of Saxons to barbarian pirates that plagued the North Sea region in the Late Roman Period. Historians link them with the Angles to create the germanic Anglo-Saxon period of which London was the leading town. But excavation and DNA analysis make the traditional story more difficult to sustain and although the Anglo-Saxond have a rich history how much of it can be trusted? Was there a Dark Age? When did London recover from the decline and fall of the Roman Empire? How did English become the main language sweeping aside native Celtic languages? In the streets of the City we will try to glimpse the reality behind the myths.
This is a walk for London Walks by Kevin Flude
The City and the Blitz
23rd November 2019 2.30pm
Moorgate Underground station, London (West side exit)
Following the devastation of Guenica the question for London was could it cope with the predicted catastrophe of Nazi terror bombing? Could London develop plans that reduced the predicted millions of casualties and thousands of people driven mad? On this walk, we look at London before the war and the measures taken to protect the City and its Citizens. We find out what it was like to come to work after a night in the shelters to find your work place in ruins. We visit the site of the earliest bomb raids on London, and explore the sequence of continuous bombing that followed the Battle of Britain, and on to the great City raid of 29th December 1940 which was centred on St Pauls. By May, 1941 the Luftwaffe had transferred to the Eastern Front, but the fear returned with the V1 and V2 secret weapons. Before the war was over London developed the Abercrombie Plan to direct the rebuilding of London after the war. We have a look at what happened to the plans for an optimistic modernist dream of a Corbusian City in the Sky.
A London Walks guided walk by Kevin Flude
The City Backstreets Pub Tour
from Roman Forum to Scrooge’s place of work.
7.15 pm on Saturday, October 5.
Meet Kevin just outside exit 3 of BankTube.
A tour though the lanes and alleys that wend their way picturesquely through the centre of one of the world’s greatest Cities. This walk has it all, not only at the centre of London and its history, but also one of the most hidden, unexpected and atmospheric routes, through lanes, alleys and courtyards between the main streets.. On route we will explore the origins of London’s financial heart, places associated with Dicken’s fiction, and explore the Roman origins of the City.
This is a London Walks Guided Walks. Look at their web site for a list of other of their amazing walks
Myths, Legends and the Origins of London
2.30pm 5th October
Tower Hill Tube (meet by the Tower Hill Tram)
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
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.
THE DECLINE & FALL OF ROMAN LONDON
at 2.30 pm on Saturday, September 28.
The meeting point is just outside exit 2 of St. Paul’sTube. No Need to Book
The first British Brexit? The Roman British kicked out the Romans in 407AD, and apparently asked them to come back in 410 AD after a catastrophic collapse. Plaque, civil war, invasion, mass hostile immigration, decline of industry, reversion to barter and the end of coinage and the beginnings of the Anarchy – the Dark Age.
Or was it? Wasn’t it a rather a transition into the Late Antique period in which life for most people went on much as before except paying taxes to local rulers not distant Emperors?
What really was the impact of the end of the Roman system in London. What is the evidence, have we made much progress in unpicking the evidence and are there any lessons to be learnt?