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.

SLAVE TRADER ROBERT MILLIGAN TO BE ‘CONTEXTUALISED’ INSIDE MUSEUM

Robert Milligan before removal

Robert Milligan once reigned supreme outside the Museum of London in Docklands as a representative of the West Indies merchants who proudly set up the West Indies docks. Now he has been removed from his prestigious position and acquired by the Museum of London. Their Docklands Museum can be seen behind the statue in this sketch. According to a statement by the Museums Association he will be ‘fully contextualised’ in the museum. The docks were set up to to maximise profits from the slave driven sugar plantations in the West Indies. Milligan was the Deputy Chairman of the project.

The museum has an excellent display on the slave trade.

Sorry for gap in posts as I’m recovering from surgery following an accident whereby a taxi driver opened his door and knocked me off my push bike so typing one handed and dealing with images is quite difficult at present. Please adopt the ‘Dutch Reach’ when opening car doors and be careful.

PLOWONIDA – LONDON’S ORIGINAL NAME & THE LONDON ‘RITUAL LANDSCAPE’

https://www.etymonline.com/word/*pleu-

Definition of the proto-indo-european route "pleu
https://www.etymonline.com/word/*pleu-

Richard Coates in a ground breaking article ‘A New Explanation Of The Name Of London’ Transactions Of The Philological Society Volume 96:2 (1998) Pgs 203 – 229 suggested the original name of London was Plowonida – or settlement by the wide flowing river. He deduces its name by comparing different versions of ‘London’ in different Celtic dialects and traces them back to what he believes is the common origin. This is the root *pleu meaning fleet flowing river, and onida which means ‘settlement by the’.

So, in the 2nd Millennia BC – the Bronze Age, there was a settlement by the flowing River. He thinks the Thames was the name for the river upstream of the Pool of London, and where it widened into an estuary it was called the Pleu. Etymonline.com says of the name Thames:

Thames – River through London, Old English Temese, from Latin Tamesis (51 B.C.E.), from British Tamesa, an ancient Celtic river name perhaps meaning “the dark one.” The -h- is unetymological (see th).

https://www.etymonline.com/word/thames

So, in the Bronze Age there must have been a small settlement probably in the area of the City or on the south bank in Southwark. It’s possible we have already found it in the occasional findings of post-holes, gullies, plough marks, brushwood platforms and burial mounds (particularly in Southwark) that have been found or we may be yet to find it. Or we may never find it. And if we do, unless it is significant in some way or has a signpost on it saying (“You are entering Plowonida”) we will never know.

Of course Coates may be wrong, but he is the most distinguished linguist of recent years to put his head about a dangerous parapet. Antiquarian journals were full of suggestions for the name of London. Previous suggestions include Lake Side Town, Lud’s Castle, Londinos’s settlement. None have survived scrutiny, and very few people were willing to make a guess after the late 70s, until 1998 and Richard Coates. However they all seem to accept that the name is pre-Roman in origin.

Archaeologists since the 1970s have been completely convinced there was no City before the arrival of the Romans. So, why bother finding the original name of a place that did not exist? However, last year in an excavation underneath Amazon’s new HQ, Principle Place, just north of Liverpool Street station, was found over 400 pieces of neolithic pottery, and evidence of extensive feasting. If you put this together with the burials found in the water margins of the River Thames, and the incredible finds of prestige metal objects: helmets, shields, swords, cauldrons, etc. from the River a case is beginning to be made (by David Keys in the Independent for example) that the area of the City of London might have been an important place for gatherings. So is it possible that the origins of London are as part of a ritual landscape?

If this is taken seriously it has a lot of implications for received opinion.

I discuss this and other issues in my Myths and Legends Guided Walks for London Walks. Click here to see the details

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

WALKS THIS WEEK!

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

SUNDAY

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:

Podcast for the Walk

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

ARCHIVE OF RECENT WALKS (2019 – 21)

I do various walks from time to time, nearly all for London Walks. (A list of all the walks. lectures, study tours I have given can be found here): 

JANE AUSTEN’S LONDON

!8th Century Bonnets cartoon

Jane Austen’s London takes place at 2.30 pm on Sunday, July 4th. The meeting point is just outside the Green Park exit (by the fountain) of Green Park Tube.

This is a London Walks Walk. To book click here:

The walk takes in the area of the London section of Sense and Sensibility. This is where Jane Austen frequented when visiting her banking brother, Henry. He  lived here during his ‘successful’ period, after resigning as a Captain in the Militia and setting up a bank to help soldiers pay for their commissions.  He then did what all good bankers do – went bankrupt and ruined himself, family and friends.   His uncle lost 10,000 pounds; his rich brother, Edward Knight lost £20,000. (that is 2/5ths of the fortune of Willoughby’s wife, and equal  to the income of Darcy,  100 times the annual income of Mrs Austen after her husband died)  i.e. a heck of a lot of money.   Jane lost £13.

But this area was also the centre of the Ton – the wealthy elite of Regency London. It was here that the French Royal family, in exile, hung out, and the haunt of Beau Brummel and Prinny, the Prince Regent, loungers in chief who were so well satirised in the figure of Sir Walter Elliot.   This is where the Dandies lounged, leered and shopped.  Here the rich could get their guns, swords, cigars, snuff, hats, shoes, tailored clothes, uniforms, wine, prostitutes, lovers.   They came to visit art galleries, see panoramas of European Cities, to ‘see’ the invisible women living in her glass jar, to choose their Wedgwood pottery.

And what is astonishing is that this is still where the megarich do exactly the same things: hang out and shop.  All the top brands are here, and instead of people like John Willoughy are to be found Russian Oligarchs, and the rich of the Emirates, and every other country in the world.  And most marvellously many of the shops survive into the present day. The same shops and shop fronts still in use.  They catered to the stupidly wealthy of the 18th Century are now catering for the stupidly wealthy of the 21st Century.  This is where you can buy luxury yachts.

So we follow Jane and Henry, and see the ghost traces left by immoral Willoughby,  sensible Elinor,  overwrought Marianne,  dull but nice Edward Ferrars,  dull and horrible Robert Ferrars, stolid Colonel Brandon, vulgar but kind  Mrs Jennings and her unforgivably vulgar daughter Mrs Palmer with her despairing husband; the Middletons, the Steeles gals ruthlessly working their assets.   Plus we have a little look at the relationship between Prinny and Beau Brummel, and the terrible childbed of Princess Ch

THE REBIRTH OF SAXON LONDON ARCHAEOLOGY VIRTUAL WALK

Sunday 4th July 2021 6.30pm

An exploration of what happened following the Roman Period. How did a Celtic speaking Latin educated Roman City become, first deserted, then recovered to become the leading City in a germanic speaking Kingdom?

My first virtual walk took place every Sunday at 2pm in August 2020 and was:Myths, Legends and the Archaeological Origins of London  in August 2020
  and I have since done:  

 ​Sunday 25th October 2020 ​​The Archaeology and Culture of ​Roman London​  Virtual Walk. For more details click here

​ Sunday 1st November 2020 ​ ​​The Decline and Fall of ​Dark Age London​ Archaeology Virtual Walk. ​For more details click here. 

​ Sunday 8th November 2020 ​ ​ ​The Rebirth of Saxon London Archaeology Virtual Walk For more details click here. 

​ Sunday 22nd November 2020 ​ ​ ​​Flower of Cities All – ​Medieval London​ History & Archaeology Virtual Walk​ For more details click here

Sunday 29th November 2020. ​ ​ ​The London of Thomas More and Thomas Cromwell  Virtual Walk For more details click here

​ Sunday 6th December 2020​​ The Financial City from Slavery t​o Hedge Fund  Virtual Walk For more details click here

Sunday 13 th December 2020 Myths, Legends and the  Origins of London Archaeology Virtual Walk . For more details of this walk click here. 

Walks given recently:

Feb 22 2.30 Bermondsey – Archaeology & History.   Bermondsey Tube

7.15  Southwark & Bankside Pub Tour.  London Bridge Tube, Tooley St

Feb 1 2.30 Tower Hill to Rotherhithe Riverside Walk.  Tower Hill Tube

Feb 2  10.45 Bishopsgate Ward Walk.   Liverpool St Tube

Jan 25th 2.30 Wolf Hall London.   Liverpool Street Tube

7.15 Blackfriars to Fleet St Pub Tour.  Blackfriars Tube

Jan 26 2.30 Romans in London.  Monument Tube

2019

Dec 21 10.30 London’s East End – The Peasants’ Revolt to Street Art.  Aldgate Tube High Street Exit

Click here for info.

2.30 Shakespeare’s London Locations – The places in the plays

Shoreditch High Street Overground Station

Click here for more info

Jan 5 10.45 Myths & Legends & the Origins of London. Tower Hill Tube

Click here for more info

Nov 23rd  2.30 The City and the Blitz.  Moorgate West Tube. For more information

7.15 Hampstead Pub Tour Hampstead Tube For more information

Nov 30th  2.30 In Search of Saxon London.  Moorgate Tube.  For more information

7.15 Smithfield Pub Tour.  Barbican Tube

Myths and Legends and the Origins of London on Saturday at Oct. 5 for details click here 

City Backstreets Pub Tour  at 7.15 Oct. 5 click here for details


The City and the Blitz on November 23

Decline and Fall of Roman London on Saturday at 2.30 Sept. 28 for details click here:

Chelsea Pub Tour Saturday at 7.15 Sept. 28 for details click here:

Jane Austen’s London 4 May 2019 7.15  Green Park Underground

For more details see blog post:

River Fleet Pub Crawl  May 18

Restarting Real, Physical Guided Walks

on 27th May 2021! T 6.30PM, Bank Tube

Kevin Flude leading a guided walk on the South Bank
Kevin Flude leading a guided walk on the South Bank

The good news is that I am starting doing real physical Guided Walks again.

Leo Heaton and I are doing an Archaeology walk every Thursday evening at 6.30.  We alternate as the Guide.

The plan is to do another walk in the afternoon.  I am also putting together a series of special, repertory walks for London walks running throughout the summer. 

Here are the details of the walk on 27th May.

ARCHAEOLOGY OF LONDON WALK

Thursday 6.30pm Exit 3 Bank Underground Station
Short Description
A TALE OF FOUR CITIES
Description
Legend says that London was founded as New Troy. Historians believed it was founded as Londinium after the Bridge was built by the legionaries of the Emperor Claudius in AD 43.   Archaeologists in the 1970s and 1980s discovered that London was refounded as Lundenwic in the 7th Century and again in the 9th Century when it was called Lundenburg.

This walk tells the epic tale of the uncovering of London’s past by Archaeologists. And provides an insight into the dramatic history of the Capital of Britannia, and how it survived revolts, fires, plagues, and reacted to the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.  It became the foremost English City but with periods under Viking and Norman control.

We tell the story in the streets of the City of London, beginning in the valley of the River Walbrook by the Temple of Mithras, and visit many sites where important archaeological discoveries were made, including the Roman Forum, Amphitheatre. Bath Houses, Temples, Roman roads and the City Walls.

To book click here

PREHISTORIC SITES IN THE LONDON AREA

London before the Romans
View of London from the SE as it might have looked before the Roman Invasion

In researching my Prehistoric Virtual Walk (Sunday 25/04/21 Details) I came across many great sites of interest. Here are a few

Barn Elms – London’s Oppidum?

This is a lecture by Alex Barnes – only 15 minutes, long and about a site in South West London that just might be an important Iron Age centre of power, which might explain all that great metalwork found in the River Thames over the centuries.

Barn Elms talk

The Early River Thames – the Iron Age and Before

This is a lecture by Jon Cotton in the Gresham College Series.

Gives interesting insights.

The Early River Thames

Horton Neolithic Houses

I don’t know how I missed this site, as it was reported in archaeological magazines I read, but it is an amazing multi-period site in the Thames Valley. Excavations before gravel extraction have shown a particularly amazing sequence of Neolithic and Bronze Age discoveries.

They found 4 or 5 early Neolithic Houses, about 15% of those that have been found in the entire UK, and an amazing placed deposit, which contained a collection of objects dating back thousands of years. In effect, a ‘museum’ collection.

I’ll let you read it from the horse’s mouth. To read click here.

Screenshot of Wessex Archaeology's page on the excavations of Kingsmede Quarry, Horton.

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