Posts Tagged ‘aldersgate’

Further exploration of historic London

Walking the London Wall – Cripplegate to Blackfriars

The remains of the west gate of the Roman Fort

The remains of the west gate of the Roman Fort, in an underground car park below London Wall

The second part of my walk, in which I continue to follow the line of London’s Roman and mediaeval Wall, finding monumental stone towers amongst the modernity of the Barbican, and discovering impressive and well-preserved subterranean remains of a Roman Fort and Amphitheatre, both astonishingly rediscovered after centuries of burial. Then past landmarks synonymous with London’s criminal past, before twisting and turning through narrow lanes and alleys to meet the Thames at Blackfriars.

Part 1 of this walk, from Tower Hill to Cripplegate, including travel information, can be found here


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Tracing the boundary of historic London in search of a dirty Roman ruin (no, not Silvio Berlusconi)

Walking the London Wall – Tower Hill to Cripplegate

London Wall at St Alphege

Salters' Hall Garden and a section of London Wall: originally Roman, but incorporated into the 11th Century church of St Alphege, and with 15th Century brick battlements.

I recently attended a tour at the Museum Of London, of which more later, which (together with my recent visit to Reculver) inspired me to try and trace the line of the Wall that originally surrounded the City of London to see what remains. Roman in origin, the Wall has seen a swelling City burst its bounds over the following centuries and has at various times and in diverse places been altered, added to and obliterated. Yet, despite the phenomenal change the City has seen in the two thousand years since Roman invaders first settled there, some surprisingly large chunks of the Wall still remain, in wonderful juxtaposition to the modern office blocks. And its legacy can also be seen in any A to Z, in many of the street names and landmarks so familiar to modern Londoners, many of whom are likely to be entirely unaware of the history beneath their feet, or, as I discovered, tucked away around a corner or down an obscure sidestreet.

By and large, I followed the Museum’s ‘London Wall Walk’, originally devised in 1984 and marked with plaques along the route, some of which are in poor repair or have been removed as the City has rebuilt itself. The booklet that accompanied the Walk is out of print, but can be downloaded in sections from the Museum’s website; I’ve merged the separate sections into one handy pdf file which you can download here.

Start: Tower Hill Station TQ335807

Finish: Blackfriars Station TQ317808

Length: 1¾ miles; allow plenty of time for exploring

How to get there: Plenty of options! Tower Hill is on the Circle and District Lines and is also within a few minutes walk of Tower Gateway (Docklands Light Railway) and Fenchurch Street (National Rail, served by c2c). Currently, Blackfriars is a little more complicated in that the Underground station is closed while the National Rail station (served by First Capital Connect) is open on weekdays only while extensive engineering works are carried out as part of the Thameslink Programme. However, nearby alternatives are available – City Thameslink (National Rail) and Mansion House (Circle/District Lines) amongst others – and this being London there are plenty of buses serving both start and finish.


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