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-Saxons have a rich history how much of it can be trusted? Was there a Dark Age? Or was it just a ‘transistion’? How did English become the main language sweeping aside native Celtic languages? Much of the story of Saxon London has been founded on myth and dubious historical sources, but archaeological, documentary and genetic research has beginning to provide a clearer narrative.
Following the fall of Roman Britain, London was almost deserted. On this walk we explore how London recovered and grew to be the most important City in England by 1066. We will concentrate on the period from 600 AD onwards, and will begin with the story of Lundenwic at Covent Garden. We will then walk along the Strand and Fleet Street to visit the empty City of Lundinium which had a rebirth in the 9th Century as Lundenburgh and which grew to become London – the largest City in the Kingdom by 1066.
The first British Brexit? The Roman Britains kicked out the Romans in 407AD, and then asked them to come back after a catastrophic collapse. Faced with plaque, civil war, invasion, mass immigration, industrial decline, reversion to barter the authorities struggled against anarchy and the Dark Ages.
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 to distant Romans?
This virtual walk explores why the Roman system in London broke down, and what really was the impact of the end of the Roman system in London.? What is the evidence? Can we do much more than guess? How should we regard the written records? We tramp the virtual streets of London in search of the light to shine on the Dark Ages.
This virtual 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.
A Walk for London Walks.
Archaeology in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries has revolutionised our view of the early history of London while its rich set of myths and legends have been largely forgotten. This walk is designed to set that right and give an insight into London’s legends, and how they relate to modern archaeological discoveries.
According to legend London was founded in the Bronze Age by an exiled Trojan called Brutus. He called the new City Troia Nova or New Troy, which became corrupted to Trinovantum. Around the time of Julius Caesar the name changed to Lud’s Dun and eventually to Londinium. Early archaeologists therefore looked for a prehistoric City, to add to the history they could read by classical authors of a City founded shortly after the Roman Invasion of 43 AD. When the Roman system broke down in 410 AD, historical and archaeological records become almost non-existent, until the foundation of St Pauls Cathedral in 604 AD. The two hundred year gap, sometimes called the Dark Ages, has another rich selection of legends. The walk will explore these stories and compare to the archaeology.
The route starts at Tower Hill, then down to the River at Billingsgate, along the River to London Bridge, up 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 Walks. Look at their web site for a list of more of their amazing walks
2.30 Sat 2 May 2020 Tower Hill Tube (meet by the Tower Hill Tram)
Please check that the walks have not been cancelled.
The Head of Bran by John Everett Millais
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
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.
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!
London like Rome has its myths of origins, and its legends of Gods, giants and super-heros. They are mostly derided by modern archaeologists. But is there any truth in them or are they just really interesting stories?
This walk, led by Kevin Flude, a former archaeologist at the Museum of London looks at the archaeological evidence of the origins of London and reconsiders London’s myths and legends.
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.
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.