Absolutely epic 24-mile London walk that uncovers the capital’s hidden Anglo-Saxon history

Central London is awash with landmarks and bodily traces of bygone instances, equivalent to Shakespeare’s Globe Theater from Elizabethan instances or the Roman baths in Billingsgate from, you guessed it, Roman instances.

However, there may be little left of Anglo-Saxon London, a time frame that stretched over 600 years between 410 to 1066.

Thankfully, the historian Tom Holland has mapped out an epic 24 walk throughout London by the Middle Ages, citing place-names, street-plans and buildings of Anglo-Saxon significance alongside the means. His epic Twitter thread is

Beyond the outdated Roman metropolis, by the emergent settlement of ‘Lundenwic’, throughout what’s now Greater London, traces may be discovered of Anglo-Saxon settlements equivalent to farms, meeting factors and buying and selling centres.

Our journey begins in Brixton, recorded in 1062 as ‘Brixiges stan’, that means ‘the stone of Beorhtsige’.

Brixton Hill is the first cease on the Anglo Saxon London tour

The ‘stone’ is believed to consult with an meeting level for the hundred courts of Surrey, and since such meeting factors had been usually on excessive floor, the stone of Beorhtsige presumably stood on Brixton Hill.

Next up is Dulwich, recorded in a 967 constitution issued by Edgar the Peaceablea as ‘Dilwihs’, that means ‘marshy meadow the place a dill grows’.

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A couple of minutes north of Dulwich lies the south-east London suburb of Peckham, recorded in the Domesday Book as ‘Pecheham’, a homestead by the river Peck.

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Peckham Rye Common

An hour or so East of Peckham, one can find Greenwich, recorded in a constitution of 918 as ‘Gronewic’, that means ‘inexperienced buying and selling emporium.’

This space was infamous in the annals of Anglo-Saxon London for the stunning homicide of St Alphege, the Archbishop of Canterbury throughout the darkish days of Ethelred the Unready’s reign (King of England 978-1016).

Captured by Vikings after the storming of Canterbury in 1011, he was held prisoner for seven months, then pelted to dying with ox bones by his drunken captors in Greenwich.

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The view from Greenwich Park

According to historian Tom Holland: “The Vikings killed Alphege as a result of he had refused to permit a ransom to be paid for his launch.

“They stored his corpse however then when a stick immersed in his blood all of a sudden sprouted blossom, they had been dropped at repentance, & launched his physique.”

The subsequent cease on tour is Woolwich, recorded in 918 as ‘Uuluuich’ that means, ‘a buying and selling emporium dealing in wool’.

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An early Christian burial website relationship from the seventh century was discovered right here in 2015 – 76 skeletons in all.

North of Woolwich is Barking, recorded in a constitution of 735 as ‘Berecingum’, that means both ‘settlement of the descendants of Bereca’ or ‘dwellers amongst the birch bushes.

Here, Barking Abbey, based by St Earconwald, was maybe of Kentish royal descent and subsequently turned Bishop of London in the 660s or 670s.

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Curfew Tower, Barking Abbey The Tower was a gateway to Barking Abbey. It was inbuilt the 14th century and reconstructed in 1460. It now varieties the primary entrance to St Margaret’s Churchyard

Tom added, “Barking Abbey was an amazing centre of feminine studying – certainly, it has been described as ‘maybe the longest-lived … institutional centre of literary tradition for ladies in British history.”

The abbey was demolished following its dissolution by Henry VIII, and all that stays is the Curfew Tower, considered one of the abbey’s three gateways, inbuilt the mid fifteenth century.

Across the Thames heading northwards is West Ham: ‘Hamme’ is first talked about in a constitution of 958 and means ‘a dry space of land between rivers or marshland’ – the rivers, on this case, being the Thames, the Lea & the Roding.

Then we’ve got Stepney in Tower Hamlets residence to St Dunstan’s – “The Mother Church of the East End”, & miraculously spared in the Blitz – was based in 952, on the website of an earlier church.

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St Dunstan and All Saints, Stepney

In-keeping with the theme of church buildings, All Hallows-by-the-Tower, the oldest church in the City overlooking the Tower of London, has varied fragments of Anglo-Saxon sculpture.

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The view of All Hallows-by-the-Tower from the southeast.

Two Anglo-Saxon kings are additionally identified to have been buried in St Paul’s: Saebbi, King of the East Saxons, who was transformed by Erkenwald, and Ethelred the Unready.

These tombs for them had been inbuilt the twelfth century, etched in 1658, and destroyed in the Great Fire.

Aldwych in Westminster (‘the outdated emporium) was the place, after Roman London had grow to be a ghost city; industrial exercise started to recuperate c. AD 600.

Queues at Woolworths, Hounslow

We’ve created a Facebook group for individuals who need to share their reminiscences of London.

Whether it is outdated colleges, sorely missed retailers or nightclubs you would like you might have one final drink in, you’ll be able to publish your nostalgic footage on this group to see who else can keep in mind.

You also can share your anecdotes from north, south, east, west and central London and join with different individuals.

Join the My Olde London Facebook group right here.

Moving onto Covent Garden, excavations right here in 1985 and 2005 revealed that London in the seventh and eighth centuries had been, by the age requirements – a considerable settlement.

Last however not least, Westminster Abbey stands on what was as soon as Thorney Island, which in 785 was granted by Offa of Mercia “to St Peter and the needy individuals of God in the horrible place known as Westminster.”

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Westminster Abbey was the place the Anglo-Saxon King, William of Normandy was topped in 1066

According to Tom, “Edward the Confessor moved his palace to Westminster and commenced constructing a large new abbey to the east of the earlier constructing.”

Westminster Abbey can also be the place, on Christmas Day 1066, William of Normandy was topped King of England – an appropriate vacation spot to conclude your Anglo Saxon tour of London.

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