Next Walks

Chaucer’s Medieval London Guided Walk Sun 11.30am 7th April 24 Aldgate Tube. To Book
The Decline And Fall Of Roman London Walk Sat 1.30pm 25th May 2024 Exit 2 St Pauls Underground Station. To Book
Jane Austen’s London Sat 6pm 25th May 2024 Green Park Tube (Green Park exit, by the fountain) to Book
The Peasants Revolt Anniversary Walk Thurs 6.30 13th June 2024 Aldgate Tube. To book
Chaucer’s Medieval London Guided Walk Sat 2.30pm 6th July Aldgate Tube. To Book
Myths, Legends, Archaeology and the Origins of London Sat 6pm July 6th 24 Tower Hill Underground To book
Roman London – A Literary & Archaeological Walk Sun 11.30 am 4th August 2024 Monument Underground Station To book
1066 and All That Walk Sat 2.30pm 9th Nov 24 Blackfriars Underground Station To book
For a complete list of my walks for London Walks in 2024 look here:

March 8th International Women’s Day

The Harper Road Burial Southwark a photo of a skeleton in a museum case with grave goods.
The Harper Road Burial Southwark (museum of London web site)

I’ve had a draft of a piece on he Harper Road Burial awaiting a suitable occasion to publish it. And today, International Women’s Day is, perhaps, that occasion. International Women’s Day began, as an idea within Socialist organisations in 1909/1910. Following the February Revolution in Russia and women gaining the vote, March 8th was chosen as the day to celebrate. The wider feminist movement adopted it in the 1960’s followed by the UN in 1977; since when it has been a day to celebrate women’s achievements and campaigns.

The Soviet Union 1949 CPA 1368 stamp (International Women’s Day, March 8. (Wikipedia)

My post was about the Harper’s Road burial, which came up in Dominic Perring’s new book ‘London in the Roman World.’ He uses it to establish that Southwark was a place where people lived both before and after the Roman Conquest in 43AD. The burial was found in the 1970s’ dated to 50 – 70 AD but recent scientific analysis has shown that the burial was of a woman (21 – 38 years of age) with brown eyes and black hair who was brought up in Britain. She was of some wealth by her grave goods. She had both imported Roman pottery and British made objects: a bronze necklace (a torc possibly of Catevalaunian or Trinovantian origin) and a mirror. Dr Rebecca Redfern & Michael Marshall (Human Osteology Curator & Museum of London Archaeology) on the Museum of London’s website make a case for her being: a ‘Powerful women in late Iron Age London’. It’s well worth reading. They make a case for the mirror being ‘used by women for divination and magic, and were a source of knowledge that only women could command. Being able to use and read the mirror meant that the woman was highly regarded by her community.’

Iron age burials are often found either with a sword or a mirror and the thinking is that the mirror reflects an equivalent status to a sword. I think we can say that the finds do reflect someone of standing, but as to the use of the mirror that must be speculation. Divination using a mirror is called ‘scrying’ and the British Museum has John Dee’s scrying apparatus. You can buy scrying mirrors on etsy.

Melanie Giles & Jody Joy in ‘Mirrors in the British Iron Age: performance, revelation and power published in 2007 (and available to read here) conclude:

‘Iron Age mirrors, whether made of iron or bronze were beautiful,  powerful, and potentially terrifying or dangerous objects. They were used in the  preparation and presentation of the body and prestigious displays, but may also have been associated with powers of augury and insight into the past, or access to ancestral or spiritual worlds.’

The evidence we have for iron communities is for a powerful role for women in contrast to the Romans. The Romans dismissed women when they wrote that Boudicca was ‘uncommonly intelligent for a women’. In fact, she nearly forced the Romans to abandon their conquest of Britain. We also know that Queen Cartimandua of the Brigantes had executive power in the North of Britain. The Britons also worshipped the three Mother Goddesses, which focussed on the value of woman as maidens, mothers, and grand-mothers.

A book to order today is ‘Patriarchs’ in which Angela Saini investigates when the Patriarchy took over. I heard her talk about it and it seems an excellent summary.

New Walk for Next Week – London before and after the Roman Invasion

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

Tower Hill Underground
Sunday 8th January 2023 11.30pm

The walk looks into the evidence for a prehistoric London and tells the story of the coming of the Romans in AD43

The walk is led by Kevin Flude, a former archaeologist at the Museum of London.

The walk investigates the City of London before and after the the Roman Conquest. What is the evidence for settlement before the Romans set up town of Londinium? Why did the Romans establish the town on this spot? Who were the early Roman Londoners and what made their choice of site so successful?

The fledgling Town was then burnt down by Queen Boudiccan and her Icenian rebels. We look at the evidence for the Revolt and London’s recovery to became the capital of Britain.

This is a London Walks Guided Walk. Look at their web site for a list of other of their amazing walks.

REVIEWS (from London Walks website)
“Kevin, I just wanted to drop you a quick email to thank you ever so much for your archaeological tours of London! I am so thrilled to have stumbled upon your tours! I look forward to them more than you can imagine! They’re the best 2 hours of my week! 🙂 Best, Sue

To Book:


This walk has now been completed but will be rerun soon.

Reconstruction of Dark Age London Bridge
London in the 5th Century Reconstruction painting.

Sunday 4th July 2021 6:30 PM

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.

This is a London Walks event by Kevin Flude To book click :