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.
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.
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.