FLOWER OF CITIES ALL – THE CITY OF LONDON FROM CHAUCER TO SHAKESPEARE

Every Thursday (from Jan 7th 2021) at 6.30pm Exit 2 Bank Underground Station

A walk which explores the City of London that was destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666. By 1400 London was dominating the affairs of the Kingdom in spectacular fashion and had grown into a sophisticated medieval Capital, competing against the great capitals of Europe.

We will walk in the footsteps of Geffrey Chaucer, in the muddy City Streets, exploring the unhealthy conditions and poverty amidst great riches and pageantry. It was a cosmopolitan City with colonies of Italians, Germans, Dutch, and French who lived cheek by jowl with native Londoners.

By the 16th Century despite repeated visitations of plague, the huge influx of newcomers created non-stop growth in London. There was a corresponding increase in trade, in crime, in violence, and in creativity.
There were riots against foreigners, riots against May Revels, and burnings at the stake of both protestants and catholics as society struggled to cope with the impact of religious change.

With so many young people drawn into the City to work in its expanding industries, entertainment grew more sophisticated and poets could make a living penning entertainments to the masses. The London landscape changed dramatically as new renaissance inspired architecture began to replace the medieval timber framed buildings and the old medieval monasteries were pulled down.

We explore London in one of its greatest periods of change. The walk is given alternately by Kevin Flude & Leo Heaton

This is a walk for London Walks

The London of Thomas More and Thomas Cromwell. The City of Wolf Hall Virtual Walk

Sunday 29th November 2020

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?

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