PODCAST FOR A VIRTUAL TOUR THROUGH THE WHOLE ISLAND OF GREAT BRITAIN. NO.5 EDINBURGH

View From Edinburgh Castle
View From Edinburgh Castle

This is the Podcast for the Virtual Tour of Edinburgh

To find out or book for the Edinburgh walk and other walks this week end click here

A Virtual Tour Through The Whole Island Of Great Britain. No.5 Edinburgh

Monday 2 May 2022 7 pm

A Virtual Walk Through the Athens of the North

Borrowing my title from Daniel Defoe’s early chorography, my first Circuit is from Chester to Edinburgh. Now on the last stop on this first circuit we are taking a virtual tour of the most extraordinary City – Edinburgh.

Edinburgh is a very unusual City as it was built on the saddle of a hill so its main street runs down the ridge of a hill and the City falls away on either side. This lack of flat land and restricted space led to the City growing upwards. This gave the City an extraordinary density and an unique atmosphere that we will be exploring.

In the Georgian period the City was extended with the addition of a new town quarter which was rationally planned and made a marked contrast on the old Town. Together it gives the Capital of Scotland, a combination of atmospheric and claustrophobic town planning with the elegance of a City that was one of the great Cities of the Enlightenment.

We will begin the virtual walk in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat at the shiny new Scottish Parliament and walk up the Royal Mile from Holyrood to Tollboth, to the Netherbow and onto the Castle at the pinnacle of the City

To Book:

BIG WEEKEND OF WALKS (2)

Painting of the Roman Forum of London from the air
Painting of the Roman Forum of London from the air

So on Saturday the 30th I am doing 2 guided walks and one Virtual Walk.

ROMAN LONDON – A LITERARY & ARCHAEOLOGICAL WALK

Saturday 30 April 20/22 11.30 am Monument Underground Station

This is a walking tour features the amazing archaeological discoveries of Roman London, and looks at life in the provincial Roman capital of Londinium.

We disembark at the Roman Waterfront by the Roman Bridge, and then explore the lives of the citizens as we walk up to the site of the Roman Town Hall, and discuss Roman politics. We proceed through the streets of Roman London, with its vivid and cosmopolitan street life via the Temple of Mithras to finish with Bread and Circus at the Roman Amphitheatre.

Publius Ovidius Naso and Marcus Valerius Martialis will be helped by Kevin Flude, former Museum of London Archaeologist, Museum Curator and Lecturer.

This is a London Walks Guided Walk

To book  https://www.walks.com/our-walks/roman-london-a-literary-archaeological-virtual-tour/

Myths, Legends, May Eve London Guided Walk

Sunday 30th April  2022  2.30pm  

The walk tells the story of London’s myths and legends and the Celtic Festival of Beltane.

The walk begins with the tale of London’s legendary origins in the Bronze Age by an exiled Trojan called Brutus. Stories of Bladud, Bellinus, Bran and Arthur will be interspersed with how they fit in with archaeological discoveries. As we explore the City we also look at evidence for ‘Celtic’ origins of London and how Imbolc may have been celebrated in early London.

The virtual route starts at Tower Hill, then down to the River Thames at Billingsgate, to London Bridge and Southwark Cathedral, to the Roman Forum at the top of Cornhill, into the valley of the River Walbrook, passed the Temple of Mithras, along Cheapside to the Roman Amphitheatre, and finishing up in the shadow of St Pauls

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

To book https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/253596322427

This weekend I am also doing two Virtual tours

:
Myths, Legends, May Eve London Virtual Walk

Sunday  30th April  2022  7.30pm  

The walk tells the story of London’s myths and legends and the Celtic Festival of Beltane

To book  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/myths-legends-may-day-london-virtual-walk-tickets-251923047617

And on Monday evening

A Virtual Tour Through The Whole Island Of Great Britain.  No.5 Edinburgh

 Monday  2 May 2022 7 pm

A Virtual Walk Through the Athens of the North

To book  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/256923664597

Hope to see you this weekend.

SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHDAY AND TUDOR BIRTH.

shakWilliam Shakespeare by Martin Droeshout from the 1st Folio
William Shakespeare by Martin Droeshout from the 1st Folio

By tradition, Shakespeare was born on St George’s Day April 23rd 1564, 457 years ago. He died on April 23rd 1616 at age 52. Cervantes died on the same day. The death date is given by the burial register at the Holy Trinity Church, Stratford on Avon where he was buried. His baptismal record also survives at the same church and is on April 26th 1564. but we don’t actually know when he was born.

Anne Shakespeare would have ‘taken to her chamber’ about four weeks before the due date. The windows or shutters would have been fastened as fresh air was thought to be bad for the birthing process. Female friends and relatives would come round, and the room would be decorated with fine carpets, hangings, silver plates and fine ornaments. It was felt that external events could influence the birth, and any shocks or horrors were thought to be the cause of deformities and anomalies, so a calm lying-in room was clearly a good idea.

When labour began female friends, relatives and the midwife were called to help out. A caudle of spiced wine or beer would be given to the mother to strengthen her through the process. Today the maternal mortality rate is 7 per 100,000. An estimate for the 16th Century is 1500 per 100,000. So most women would have heard of or attended the birth of women who had died during or following children birth. There were also no forceps so if a baby were stuck and could not be manually manipulated out, then the only way forward was to get a surgeon to use hooks to dismember the baby to save the life of the mother. Doctors were not normally in attendance, but could be called in emergency,

Immediately after washing the baby was swaddled. The swaddling was often very tight and could affect the baby’s growth, and might have affected the learning process as movement of hands are now considered very important in the early learning process. Swaddling lasted eight to nine months, and only went out of fashion after Jean Jacques Rousseau wrote against the practice.

Detail of tomb of Alexander Denton and his first wife Anne Willison, and her baby dressed in swaddling clothes Photo Wikipedia Hugh Llewelyn

Puerperal fever killed many women after successful childbirth for example Queen Jane Seymour who died after 5 days. During these dangerous early days the mother was kept in a dark room, and then, perhaps three days after birth friends were invited to celebrate ‘upsitting’ when the mother was no longer confined to bed. This is when christening would take place.

Edward VI was christened to a huge audience in the chapel at Hampton Court three days after his birth. Licensed midwives could baptise newborn babies provided they used the correct wording and informed the Church so that the registration could be properly reported. Thomas Cromwell was responsible for the law in 1538 which insisted on a parish register to record weddings, christenings, and funerals. The law was reaffirmed by Queen Elizabeth in 1558 and registers had to be stored in a locked chest in the Church. (In 1597, the records had to be on parchment not paper, and in 1603 the chest had to have three locks!).

If the Christening were in the church the mother might not be there as she was expected to stay in her chamber for another week or so.

A week or a few weeks later the mother would be ‘churched.’ This was a thanks-giving ceremony, although Puritans did not like the idea that it could be considered a purification ceremony.

Breast feeding would last a year or so and many high status women choose to use a wet-nurse, but there was a real concern that the wet nurse was suitable as it was believed that the breast milk was important for the babies development both physically and temperamentally. Poor children who lost their mothers were very unlikely to survive as, without breast milk, the baby would be fed pap – bread soaked in cow’s milk.

Thanks very much to Alison Sim’s book ‘The Tudor Household’ for a lot of the above.

MISUNDERSTANDING THE ROMAN WALL AT TOWER HILL

Roman and Medieval Town Wall at Tower Hill, London
Roman and Medieval Town Wall at Tower Hill, London

Yesterday I had a meeting with a couple of archaeologists at Tower Hill to discuss my recent letter to the London Archaeologist which suggests a piece of conservation of the wall was wrong and based on an misunderstanding of the physical remains. To my relief they agreed with my assessment of the wall and we agreed to follow it up.

It is a complex issue and I will try to upload a copy of the report at the bottom of this page. But briefly. at some point in the past the inner face of part of the wall collapsed (the piece closest to the camera). You can see that only the bottom Roman tile courses continue to the camera end of the wall – the ones above were swept away in the collapse on the inner face, they survived on the outer face.

The section just visible at the front used to show this collapse graphically because only half of the width of the tile courses survived (i.e. on the outer face not the inner face.) At some point someone in the 1980s picked up some fragments of the tile and stuck them superficially on the wall to complete the tile courses. This shows a complete lack of understanding of the archaeology of the wall and ignores the collapse. You can just see the end of that false tile course a few feet above the bottom genuine Roman tile course.

Not a great nor important bit of history but the Wall Walk plaque is wrong on this matter too so it would be good to get that changed.

Its difficult to date the original collapse but the wall at the top looks clearly medieval.

What was even more exciting is that while waiting for the archaeologists to turn up I was looking from afar at the section above. If you look very carefully at the wall nearest the camera you will see a few feet above the bottom of the wall a string of stones which are aligned to the Roman tile course and it seems that whoever recreated this section of the Roman wall after the collapse tried to copy the Roman wall but did not have any tiles so did it in stone. This part of the ‘repair’ is clearly different in style to the medieval repair above (although I had not noticed the difference in 40 years of looking at this wall).

I was very excited about this and thought maybe this is Post Roman work, because it is different to the section above which is medieval, and mimicking or continuing the Roman design the Roman. Identifying a pre-Medieval repair to the wall would be, I think, unique.

I pointed it out to Jane Sidell and Jenny Hall, and they were also interested in this finding. Jane pointed out that it seems that whoever did this seems to have been copying the Roman core of the wall just to the left, rather than copying the original Roman inner face which you can see at the end of the wall away from the camera. She thought it was more likely to have been a 19th or 20th Century repair. But we are following it up.

Here is the letter as published in London Archaeologist Vol.16 No. 2 / Autumn 2020

A longer and more extensively illustrated version is available to see here:

GOOD FRIDAY – CHELSEA BUNS

Old Chelsea Bun House Frederick Napoleon Shepherd – from a print at the Museum of London (Wikipedia)

‘RRRRRare Chelsea Buns’ as Jonathan Swift called them in a letter to Stella in 1711.

T!he tradition was that on Good Friday Georgian period Londoners would go to Chelsea to buy Chelsea Buns. Thousands of people would turn up at the Five Fields which stretched from Belgravia to what is now Royal Hospital Street. There were swings, drinking booths, nine pins and ‘vicious events that disgraced the metropolis’. The Bun House was on Jew’s Row as Royal Hospital Street was then called. As several King Georges visited the Bun House it became known as the Royal Chelsea Bun House. It was run by the Hands family. They were said to sell 50,000 Buns on the day. Stromboli tea garden was nearby.

Fragrant as honey and sweeter in taste
As flaky and white as if baked by the light
As the flesh of an infant soft, doughy and slight.

The buns were made from eggs, butter, sugar, lemon and spices. Inside the Chelsea Bun House was a collection of curiosities. Chelsea became known for its collection of curiosities in the 18th Century. Of course, there was the great Hans Sloane’s collection which was the founding collection of the British Museum, And then there was Don Saltero’s which was a coffee house that had curiosities on the wall. The Bun house displayed clocks, curiosities, models, paintings and statues on display to attract a discerning Public.

Me. I love a Chelsea Bun above all buns, But can you get them any more? The British Library Cafe was the last place I found that sold them. And that was 5 years ago I reckon. If you see any let me know.

To make yourself one follow this link. https://www.christinascucina.com/chelsea-buns-british-buns-similar-to-cinnamon-rolls/

Chelsea_bun by Petecarney wikipedia
Chelsea Bun by Petecarney wikipedia

TODAY SPRING SPRUNG

HAGGERSTON. LONDON

The first sunny day of the year inviting enough to eat in the garden, partly because is is north facing, and its only now getting a decent time in the sun; and partly because it was a stonking warm sun. The Haggerston Rivera in the background is full of people deciding that this is the day to get it all out out in the sun. But also there is still a small proportion of people dressed ready just in case a chill north wind arrives unexpectedly.

Its also the death of the daffodils day – at least in my garden. Still a few tulips and even one or two yet to bloom. But the star of my garden at the moment is Honesty, which you can see to the left of the table (an old door repurposed). I first grew it on the balcony and it has now spread down and appeared in three places, and is rather lovely.

Its latin name is Lunaria annua because the silver seed pods look like a full moon, but they also look like silver coins. Therefore it symbolises wealth. It’s name Honesty is said to come from the translucent pod revealing the seeds beneath, honestly.

The book you see on the table s written by a friend from my Museum of London days who has recently published a book on Shakespeare’s time living in the Parish of St Helen’s near Bishopsgate.

Photos taken by the author last night.

Druids at All Hallows, by the Tower

My next walks – virtual and guided are here:

SHAKESPEARE’S STRATFORD AND LONDON

SKETCH OF NEW PLACE, SHAKESPEARE'S HOME IN STRATFORD ON AVON
SKETCH OF NEW PLACE, SHAKESPEARE’S HOME IN STRATFORD ON AVON

So someone knocked me off my bike by opening his taxi door without looking. although th only thing broken was my little finger it has meant i can only type with one hand so hence why no posts.

On Saturday Night I’m doing a virtual tour of Stratford-on-Avon and Saturday week I’m doing one on Shakespeare’s London. I’ve been to Stratford to get more photos and am really looking forward to it.

What makes it exciting is the little book I bought some years ago which has some great content.

The Market Cross, Stratford

It has great illustrations like this. This is the market cross where Shakespeare’s dad sold his gloves. And wonderful detail culled from town records and wills.

To book my Stratford tour click here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/256862622017

The London Tour here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/shakespeares-london-his-life-work-virtual-tour-tickets-256790636707?ref=estw

ARCHIVES OF EVENTS & WALKS (2022)

ARCHAEOLOGY OF LONDON – every Thursday 6.30 PM Click here for details and how to book.

Bran's head taken to Tower Hill
King Bran’s head buried at Tower Hill

A Virtual Tour Through The Whole Island Of Great Britain. No.5 Edinburgh

View From Edinburgh Castle
View From Edinburgh Castle

Monday 2 May 2022 7 pm

A Virtual Walk Through the Athens of the North

Borrowing my title from Daniel Defoe’s early chorography, my first Circuit is from Chester to Edinburgh. Now on the last stop on this first circuit we are taking a virtual tour of the most extraordinary City – Edinburgh.

Edinburgh is a very unusual City as it was built on the saddle of a hill so its main street runs down the ridge of a hill and the City falls away on either side. This lack of flat land and restricted space led to the City growing upwards. This gave the City an extraordinary density and an unique atmosphere that we will be exploring.

In the Georgian period the City was extended with the addition of a new town quarter which was rationally planned and made a marked contrast on the old Town. Together it gives the Capital of Scotland, a combination of atmospheric and claustrophobic town planning with the elegance of a City that was one of the great Cities of the Enlightenment.

We will begin the virtual walk in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat at the shiny new Scottish Parliament and walk up the Royal Mile from Holyrood to Tollboth, to the Netherbow and onto the Castle at the pinnacle of the City


Painting of the Roman Forum of London from the air
Painting of the Roman Forum of London from the air

ROMAN LONDON – A LITERARY & ARCHAEOLOGICAL WALK

Saturday 30 April 20/22 11.30 am Monument Underground Station

This is a walking tour features the amazing archaeological discoveries of Roman London, and looks at life in the provincial Roman capital of Londinium.

Our Guides will be Publius Ovidius Naso and Marcus Valerius Martialis who will be helped by Kevin Flude, former Museum of London Archaeologist, Museum Curator and Lecturer.

We disembark at the Roman Waterfront by the Roman Bridge, and then explore the lives of the citizens as we walk up to the site of the Roman Town Hall, and discuss Roman politics. We proceed through the streets of Roman London, with its vivid and cosmopolitan street life via the Temple of Mithras to finish with Bread and Circus at the Roman Amphitheatre.

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

REVIEWS (from London Walks website)
“Kevin, I just wanted to drop you a quick email to thank you ever so much for your archaeological tours of London! I am so thrilled to have stumbled upon your tours! I look forward to them more than you can imagine! They’re the best 2 hours of my week! 🙂 Best, Sue



MYTHS, LEGENDS, MAY EVE LONDON GUIDED WALK

Saturday 30th April 2022 2.30pm Tower Hill Underground

The walk tells the story of London’s myths and legends and the Celtic Festival of Beltane

The walk is led by Kevin Flude, a former archaeologist at the Museum of London, who has an interest both in the archaeological evidence as well as the myths and legends of London’s origin.

The guided walk is one of a series about London’s Myths and Legends which take place on or around one of the significant festivals of the Celtic calendar. On this tour we celebrate May Day, or Beltane – the celebration of the coming of Summer.

The walk begins with the tale of London’s legendary origins in the Bronze Age by an exiled Trojan called Brutus. Stories of Bladud, Bellinus, Bran and Arthur will be interspersed with how they fit in with archaeological discoveries. As we explore the City we also look at evidence for ‘Celtic’ origins of London and how Imbolc may have been celebrated in early London.

The virtual route starts at Tower Hill, then down to the River Thames at Billingsgate, to London Bridge and Southwark Cathedral, to the Roman Forum at the top of Cornhill, into the valley of the River Walbrook, passed the Temple of Mithras, along Cheapside to the Roman Amphitheatre, and finishing up in the shadow of St Pauls

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


MYTHS, LEGENDS, MAY EVE LONDON VIRTUAL WALK

SATURDAY 30th April 2022 7.30pm

The virtual version of the walk route starts at Tower Hill, then down to the River Thames at Billingsgate, to London Bridge and Southwark Cathedral, to the Roman Forum at the top of Cornhill, into the valley of the River Walbrook, passed the Temple of Mithras, along Cheapside to the Roman Amphitheatre, and finishing up in the shadow of St PaulsThis is a London Walks Virtual Walk. Look at their web site for a list of other of their amazing walks.

A Virtual Tour Through The Whole Island Of Great Britain. No.4 Stratford

New Place, Shakespeare’s prestigious home in Stratford

Saturday 16 Apr 2022 7.00 pm

A Virtual Walk Through Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-on-Avon

Borrowing my title from Daniel Defoe’s early chorography, my first Circuit is from Chester to Edinburgh. Now on our fourth stop we are taking a virtual tour of the capital of English Literature – Stratford-on-Avon.

We will be taking an in-depth walk around Shakespeare’s Birthday, visiting the sites in the market town associated with his history. We will look for his neighbours, friends and acquaintances to get an insight into life in a Tudor Town and find out how a provincial boy became London’s greatest playwright revered around the world as one of the most significant writers.
Our walk will begin at the Birthplace, from here to the Market Cross and the shop ran by his daughter’s wayward husband.

We then walk past the house associated with John Harvard to the Guild Chapel where Shakespeare’s father had the Doomsday paintings whitewashed out. Shakespeare would have attended here when at the local school next door.
Over the road is the site of the greatest house in Stratford, New Place, which Shakespeare purchased when at the height of his earnings as playwright.

We continue to the house of his first born daughter and her husband, the Doctor John Hall and examine his medical books. We finish across the road from his friend and money lender, John Combe at the Church where Shakespeare was buried.

Shakespeare’s London – Life & Work Virtual Tour
Saturday 23rd April 2022 7.00 pm

St George’s Day Special

On , St George’s Day, said to be the Anniversary of Shakespeare birth as well as his death we take a long walk around Shakespeare’s London. Although many choose to take a pilgrimage to Stratford, London, his workplace is the right place to worship at the font of his genius.

We don’t know how Shakespeare got to London or began his involvement as a playwright, but we do have a lot of biographical details so that we can trace his life and career in London.

We will start at Liverpool Street and explore late 16th Century Shoreditch where the early Theatres – the Theatre and the Curtain were built. We then walk through Bishopsgate into St Helens where he lived and located scenes in his plays.

From there we explore the City of London which was in the midst of a massive population explosion and was full of young people shaking off their traditional lives to find a new one in the fleshpots of London.
We walk through the French Quarter to the house where he lodged, near the Museum of London and to the ruins of St Mary. Here two of his fellow actors were church wardens and it was they who saved for posterity his plays and published the First Folio.

We go past the Guildhall where Jewish Doctor Lopez was found guilty of plotting to poison Queen Elizabeth a few years before the writing of the Merchant of Venice. At St Pauls we discover where Falstaff obtained his untrustworthy servant Bardolph. Then to Carter Lane, where the only letter that survives to Shakespeare was written. Around the corner, was the ruined Blackfriars where Shakespeare’s company set up their winter theatre.

We then cross the river to explore the Southbank and Theatres where Shakespeare found the height of his fame, before retiring to an early death in Stratford on Avon.

A VIRTUAL TOUR THROUGH THE WHOLE ISLAND OF GREAT BRITAIN. NO. 3 YORK

Saturday, March 19, 2022 7:00 pm

From Legionary Fortress to Medieval Castle

Borrowing my title from Daniel Defoe’s early chorography, my first Circuit is from Chester to Edinburgh. Now on our third stop we are taking a virtual tour of the capital of the North – the historic City of York.

One of Britain’s most important and, certainly, one of its most atmospheric Cities, York has everything a lover of history could want. Founded as a legionary Fortress as the Roman invasion proceeded northwards. Its strategic situation soon facilitated an expansion beyond the circuit of the military fort. The City survived into the Anglian period before becoming the centre of Viking operations.

Following the Norman Invasion, the people of the North attacked William the Conqueror’s two new Castles, and destroyed them. In 1069 William spent Christmas in York and used it as his base to ‘harry’ the North one of the most devastating massacres Britain has seen. But York survived and eventually flourished as the bastion of the English Monarch’s power, and was an important factor in the rivalry between England and Scotland.

York did not become a powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution but retained a regional importance and attracted industries such as chocolate manufacturing, becoming the ‘Home of Chocolate’ hosting Rowntrees and Terry’s.

Our walk will take us around the Medieval Walls, to the Castle and the site of the Roman Fortress, through the streets, alleys and snickets to one of the great Churches of Great Britain, the York Minister.

ROMAN LONDON – A LITERARY & ARCHAEOLOGICAL WALK

Sunday 20th March 20/22 11.30 am Monument Underground Station

This is a walking tour features the amazing archaeological discoveries of Roman London, and looks at life in the provincial Roman capital of Londinium.

Our Guides will be Publius Ovidius Naso and Marcus Valerius Martialis who will be helped by Kevin Flude, former Museum of London Archaeologist, Museum Curator and Lecturer.

We disembark at the Roman Waterfront by the Roman Bridge, and then explore the lives of the citizens as we walk up to the site of the Roman Town Hall, and discuss Roman politics. We proceed through the streets of Roman London, with its vivid and cosmopolitan street life via the Temple of Mithras to finish with Bread and Circus at the Roman Amphitheatre.

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

REVIEWS (from London Walks website)
“Kevin, I just wanted to drop you a quick email to thank you ever so much for your archaeological tours of London! I am so thrilled to have stumbled upon your tours! I look forward to them more than you can imagine! They’re the best 2 hours of my week! 🙂 Best, Sue

The London Spring Equinox Walk
Sunday 20 March 2022 2.30 pm Tower Hill Underground


Tailored to each season we explore London’s History through its celebrations, festivals, calendars and almanacs

As the Sun and Moon move around our skies we look at how Londoners organised and celebrated their year throughout history.

The tour is led by Kevin Flude, a former archaeologist at the Museum of London, Curator and Lecturer

One of the most popular forms of publication in London was the Almanac. It was full of seasonal advice, of prophecy, traditional wisdom, and important events past and future. Different cultures, religions and institutions had their own methods of organisation and celebrations. We explore the varied calendars that ruled people’s lives from the prehistoric period to the present.

On the way we look at customs, and folklore of the Celts, Romans, Saxons, and into the Medieval and Modern period. We look at different calendars such as the Pagan year, the Egyptian year, the Roman, Christian, Jewish, Church and Financial years.

On the route we discover the people who lived in London and walk through fascinating areas with their deep histories. Each walk will be customised to fit the particular Solstice or Equinox they fall on.

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

THE SPRING EQUINOX LONDON VIRTUAL TOUR
Sunday 20 March 2022 6.30 pm

In the spirit of the old almanacs we take a seasonal look at London at the Equinox, its calendars, folklore and the beginning of Spring

The tour is led by Kevin Flude, a former archaeologist at the Museum of London, Curator and Lecturer

One of the most popular forms of publication in London was the Almanac. It was full of seasonal advice, of prophecy, traditional wisdom, and remembering important events to mark in the year. So we tour London to create our own Spring Equinox Almanac looking at the Equinox and the various calendars associated with the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring, from the prehistoric period to the present.

On the way we look at customs of the Celts, Romans, Saxons, and into the Medieval and Modern period.
We look around the City of London in search of evidence of how the celestial bodies and the calendar affect our legal, financial, religious, educational, political, agricultural and human systems.

We look at different calendars such as the Pagan year, the Egyptian year, the Roman year, the Christian year, the Jewish year, as well as the various secular years, and explore how they began and how they relate to each other.

On the route we examine folk traditions & customs, spring & Easter Festivals and events. We find interesting and historic places in the City of London to link to our stories of the Equinox.

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

Conwy View from the Castle – photo by Kevin Flude

A VIRTUAL TOUR THROUGH THE WHOLE ISLAND OF GREAT BRITAIN. NO. 2 CONWY

Monday 7th March 2022 7.00 pm

See the gateway to Snowdonia and its magnificent Medieval Castle, Town and Bridges

Borrowing my title from Daniel Defoe’s early chorography, my first circuit is from Chester to Edinburgh. Now on our second stop we are taking a virtual tour of the gateway to North Wales – the delightful town of Conwy.

For a small town Conwy has everything – an absolutely magnificent Medieval Castle, a City Wall that is still intact around the entire Circuit. Some of the great feats of bridge and tunnel engineering, and a pocket sized town containing historic buildings, nice pubs, and the ‘smallest house in Great Britain.’

It is not only picturesque but was a settlement of enormous strategic importance in the invasions by the Romans and the English. And to finish the tour we will take a small excursion into Snowdonia to see what it guarded.

A VIRTUAL TOUR THROUGH THE WHOLE ISLAND OF GREAT BRITAIN. NO. 1 – CHESTER

Chester City Wall and the Shropshire Union Canal

Sunday 20th February 2022 7.30pm

A Virtual Walk Through Chester from Amphitheatre to Canal

Borrowing my title from Daniel Defoe’s early chorography, my first Circuit is from Chester to Edinburgh. We begin with a virtual walk around Chester.

Chester is one of Britain’s best known historic Cities. One of those places where the history of Britain can be told in one town. It was founded as a Legionary Fortress when the Romans sought to expand their imperium into the North and West of Britain. It remained an important military town with a thriving port. It is not clear exactly what happened in the centuries following the Roman withdrawal from Britannia but it retained its importance in the Saxon and Medieval periods before being besieged by the King’s Forces in the English Civil War.

The Industrial Revolution largely by-passed Chester but helped bring on the decline of its traditional industries, and soon it was relegated to a secondary status to Liverpool and Manchester in the North West. However, this meant the City retained much of its historic character, and we will enjoy the surviving Wall circuit, the timber framed shops and houses as we walk from the Station to the Amphitheatre, through the Roman town and into the Medieval Cathedral, before leaving by the Canal.

THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF LONDON BRIDGE, SOUTHWARK & BANKSIDE GUIDED WALK

Reconstruction of Dark Age London Bridge
London in the 5th Century Reconstruction painting.


Sunday 6 February 2022 2.30pm Monument Underground

The walk explores the area around the Bridge and London Bridge’s history

London Bridge is not only an iconic part of London’s history but it is also the key to much of the History of London. On this walk we explore the area around the Bridge.

On the north side we explore evidence for the origins of the Bridge, and the early Roman Port of London. We then cross the Bridge discovering the many rebuilds and the wonder of the famous London Bridge with all its houses along it. On the south side we explore the Historic Borough of Southwark which, archaeology has revealed, is very much more than just the first suburb of London.

We range from the prehistoric finds in the River, to the excavation of the Theatres of Shakespeare’s London on Bankside.

This is a London Walks Guided Walk. Look at their web site for a list of other of their amazing walks. The walk needs to be booked via this London Walk link. To Book:

London Bridge

THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF LONDON BRIDGE, SOUTHWARK & BANKSIDE VIRTUAL WALK

Sunday 6 February 2022 7.30pm

The virtual version of the London Bridge Walk.

To book

MYTHS, LEGENDS, & CELTIC FESTIVALS LONDON GUIDED WALK

Sunday30th January 2022 2.30pm Tower Hill Underground

The walk tells the story of London’s myths and legends and the Celtic Festival of Imbolc.

The guided walk is led by Kevin Flude, a former archaeologist at the Museum of London, who has an interest both in the archaeological evidence as well as the myths and legends of London’s origin.

The walk is one of a series about London’s Myths and Legends which take place on or around one of the significant festivals of the Celtic calendar. On this tour we celebrate Imbolc, the festival half way between the winter and the Summer Solstice that celebrates the first signs of the coming of spring. The day is also dedicated to St Bridget, or St Bride.

The walk begins with the tale of London’s legendary origins in the Bronze Age by an exiled Trojan called Brutus. Stories of Bladud, Bellinus, Bran and Arthur will be interspersed with how they fit in with archaeological discoveries. As we explore the City we also look at evidence for ‘Celtic’ origins of London and how Imbolc may have been celebrated in early London.

The route starts at Tower Hill, then down to the River Thames at Billingsgate, to London Bridge and Southwark Cathedral, to the Roman Forum at the top of Cornhill, into the valley of the River Walbrook, passed the Temple of Mithras, along Cheapside to the Roman Amphitheatre, and finishing up at St Brides.

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

To Book:

MYTHS, LEGENDS, & CELTIC FESTIVALS LONDON VIRTUAL WALK

Sunday 30th January 2022 7.30pm

The virtual version of the walk starts at Tower Hill, then down to the River Thames at Billingsgate, to London Bridge and Southwark Cathedral, to the Roman Forum at the top of Cornhill, into the valley of the River Walbrook, passed the Temple of Mithras, along Cheapside to the Roman Amphitheatre, and finishing up at St Brides.This is a London Walks Virtual Walk. Look at their web site for a list of other of their amazing walks.

To Book:

LONDON. 1066 AND ALL THAT VIRTUAL WALK

Reading museum's copy of the Bayeaux tapestry showing King Edward in the Palace, the new Westminster Abbey and Edward's funeral procession.
Westminster & Edward the Confessor on Reading Museum’s copy of the Bayeaux Tapestry


Virtual Zoom Walk 7.30pm on Sunday 9th January 2022

The Archaeological Walk that explores London at the end of the Saxon period and at the beginning of the Norman.

The Norman Conquest of 1066 defines Britain in a way unmatched by any other event. And on this walk we explore the London that William conquered and how he changed England for all time.

London was England’s most important City but not yet the capital. It was crucial to William in his attempt to conquer the realm but he failed to capture London. He failed to push his army across the heavily defended London Bridge after the defeat of the English King at the Battle of Hastings.

The future of the country was in the balance as he sought to find a way across the river and to persuade the English that resistance was hopeless. Eventually, the English leaders sued for peace, and William was crowned at the newly built Westminster Abbey. But as the Saxons acclaimed the new King, his guards became alarmed and slaughtered the Saxons.

He then set about making sure he kept hold of his new Kingdom and its most important City. He and his sons not only transformed London that dealt a death blow to Anglo-Saxon culture.

This walks begins at Westminster Abbey, explores Late Saxon and Norman London and ends at the Tower of London

Walk is by Kevin Flude, former Archaeologist at the Museum of London

RING IN THE NEW YEAR VIRTUAL WALK

Druids at All Hallows, by the Tower
Druids at All Hallows, by the Tower

On this walk we look at how London has celebrated the New Year over the past 2000 years, and using our crystal ball look forward to what will befall London in 2022

Sunday January 2nd 2022 7.30pm

We look at London’s past to see where and how the Solstice might be celebrated. We also explore the different New Years we use and their associated Calendars – the Pagan year, the Christian year, the Roman year, the Jewish year, the Financial year, the Academic year and we reveal how these began. We look at folk traditions, Medieval Christmas Festivals, Boy Bishops, Distaff Sunday and Plough Monday, and other New Year London tradition and folklore.

At the end we use ancient methods to divine what is in store for us in 2022.

The walk finds interesting and historic places in the City of London to link to our stories of Past New Year’s Days. We begin, virtually, at Barbican Underground and continue to the Museum of London, the Roman Fort; Noble Street, Goldsmiths Hall, Foster Lane, St Pauls, Dr Commons, St. Nicholas Colechurch and on towards the River.

Archive for 2021 can be seen here:

2019-21 here



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