imag: TitleProject Britain

Learn about London

by Mandy Barrow

 
 
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The History of London
Roman London (AD 43 - AD 410)
 
 

The Romans arrived in England about about 2,000 years ago. They called London 'Londinium'.

Roamn Britain
Saxon Britain
Viking Britain
Norman Britain
Tudor Britain
Victorian Britain
World War Two
43
450
793
1066
1485
1837
1914

The Romans (A43– 410)

RomanThe Romans invaded England in AD 43. They landed in Kent, made their way to the River Thames and sailed up it. The Romans knew it was important to control a crossing point at the River Thames, so they decided to build a settlement on the north bank. They chose a spot in two small hills and where the river became narrower. They built a bridge over the Thames, and there has been a 'London Bridge' in the same area ever since.

 

The Romans laid out buildings, streets and a port, and shortly afterwards they built a bridge. They called the settlement Londinium.

Not everyone welcomed the new Settlers. In AD 61 the native Iceni tribe, led by Queen Boudicca, rose up against the Romans. They burnt Londinium to the ground and killed 30,000 Londoners.

The Romans regained control and over the next 20 yeas rebuilt Londinium. By AD 100, the city was thriving again. At its peak the new Londinium city had a population of up to 60,000 people and for 300 years it was the largest city in Britannia (The Roman name for Britain). It had a fort (where the Barbican centre is now), a Forum/market, an amphitheatre (buried below the Guidhall) and Basilica/business centre. The Romans built a wall around the city to protect it from further invasion.

image: Map
Blue line shows where the wall was

The Romans ruled in Britain until AD 410, when thy left Britain and London.

Evidence of Roman London today

There is still evidence of Roman London. Parts of the Roman wall can still be seen.

image: Roman Wall
Remains of the Roman fort with nineteenth-century walls built atop it

The wall enclosed an area of about 330 acres (130 ha) and had six gates. Moorgate, a medieval gate, was added later.

According to ancient records the wall was three miles long, 18 feet tall, and had fifteen lofty towers (bastions). The river front side was two and a half miles long.

iage: Roman Wall
Part of the Fort, a bastion added during medieval times

It was built of Kentish Ragstone, brought by boat along the Medway and Thames, with bands of red tiles.

image: Roman Wall
Kentish ragstone Roman wall

image: St. Alphagh Garden.
The wall passes through St. Alphagh Garden

image: Bastion
Remains of a bastion at the Barbican Estate, next to the church of St Giles-without-Cripplegate.

The Anglo- Saxons who followed lived outside the walls in the Aldwych area but in the Medieval period people moved back and rebuilt the walls for defence. From the 17th century as London grew the walls were incorporated into buildings or used to provide materials.

  • The population of Roman London was between 12,000 and 20,000.
  • In Roman times, the River Thames was 300 metres wide
    ( today it is 100 metres wide).

Follow this link to find out more about Roman Britain.

BoudiccaYou can see a statue of Boudicca by Westminster Bridge in London.

 

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All the materials on these pages are free for homework and classroom use only. You may not redistribute, sell or place the content of this page on any other website or blog without written permission from the Mandy Barrow.

© Copyright Mandy Barrow 2013

Mandy is the creator of the Woodlands Resources section of the Woodlands Junior website. 
The two websites projectbritain.com and primaryhomeworkhelp.co.uk are the new homes for the Woodlands Resources.

Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consulatant. 
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.

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