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