The Walk creates a portrait of London in the early 16th Century. It has a particular emphasis on the life and times of Thomas Cromwell and Thomas More who feature in Wolf Hall, the novel by Hilary Mantel.
Listen to the Tour Podcast (6 min 55)
The Virtual Tour will start with a boat tour from Hampton Court, via Chelsea to the City, and then a Walk around the City.
More and Cromwell had much in common, both lawyers, commoners, who rose to be Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII and they both ended their career on the block at Tower Hill. But they found themselves on the other side of the gulf that suddenly opened with the religious ferment that accompanied Henry’s obsession with Anne Bolyen.
The Walk will include visits to the sites of More’s and Cromwell’s town houses and then walk through the market streets of Tudor London, to Cheapside and the Guildhall, St Pauls and outside the Walls to Smithfield where most of the religious executions took place. We visit Charter House where More took a break from the stress of public office, and whose Prior, Cromwell had hanged, drawn and quartered. We exit via the plaque pits, and finish off with a walk around the City Walls until we come to Tower Hill where both men ended their lives on the scaffold.
Saint or Sinner? What better place to ponder that question that the streets of Wolf Hall London?
This walks looks at the development of the City of London as a financial centre. Its origins were among the money lenders of the Jewish and Italian quarters of Old Jewry and Lombard Street. We continue the story with the introduction of the first commercial companies and the Merchant Adventurers of Elizabethan London, alongside the revival of the cruel trade in Slaves. We walk through the alleyways of the City where innovation went side by side with the introduction of Coffee in the Coffee Houses of Stuart London.
We look at the distinctive architecture of the City as we walk around one of the most specialised market places in the world that once prided itself on the virtues of providing face to face contact.. The financial institutions in the City have encountered many changes since the scandal of the South Sea Bubble and it has weathered them all, so far. It was given a huge boast by the ‘Big Bang’ in Mrs Thatcher’s time. But the consequences of the effects of Brexit and Covid on top of the Internet are not yet clear on the City.
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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.
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.
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!
Thomas More & Thomas Cromwell’s London – The City of Wolf Hall
14:30 Sat 25th Jan 2020 Liverpool Street Station
The Walk creates a portrait of London in the early 16th Century, with particular emphasis on the life and times of Thomas Cromwell and Thomas More.
More and Cromwell had much in common, despite being on opposite sides of the religious devide, both lawyers, commoners, important figures in the City of London. They both rose to be Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII, and ended their career on the block at Tower Hill.
The walk visits the sites of Thomas More’s birthplace, and the Town houses of More and Cromwell before exploring the Tudor City of London, including the Guildhall and St. Pauls where Martin Luther’s books where burnt.
We end with an exploration of the Reformation at its London epicentre in Smithfield – site of the stake where Heretics were burnt alive, surrounded by Catholic Monasteries and playing a significant part in the life and downhall of Thomas More.
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.