HOW LONDON BECAME THE CITY IT IS TODAY
Hidden London takes us on a journey through the ages of London from Roman Londium to the present day.
Roman invaders gave way to a host of new arrivals, from Saxons to other Germanic tribes and all left their mark until King Alfred the Great created some semblance of unity in England. With the arrival of William the Conqueror and the Normans the political influence of London was increased and it became the key to controlling England.
By the 15th century is was a busy commercial town on the Thames with a population of 30,000 and the suburbs extended beyond the city walls with new ones being created but with the central roads developing haphazardly. You can experience the twists and turns of history as you venture through that which remains after Fire, Plague, War and Blitz have left their mark creating the confusing street patterns that exist today.
With the Tudors and the era of Shakespeare London flowered as the centre of the arts yet Great Plague and Fire followed representing the biggest threat to the city’s survival. By the 18th century however the great age of Georgian architecture added it’s elegance to the city’s profile with the great squares being created and streets being upgraded. Art, theatre and literature scaled new heights and the Industrial revolution and the emergence of a middle class changed the face of London forever.
The height of Empire was achieved with the arrival of Victoria and London was the centre of the largest Empire the world had ever seen. London with all it colours emerged and cockney language was born from a fusion of dialects.
Two World Wars marked the end of an era and much of London disappeared under a blanket of bombs yet surprisingly the city has risen phoenix-like again from the ashes and digging just a little below the surface the layers of this surprising and captivating city can still be revealed. The past is very much here today, with subtle yet strong visual and ‘street name’ clues, for those that care to look. Ancient London still lives on although the structures, people and creations may be long gone.