Visit London Blog » roman remains Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 22 May 2015 17:44:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Visiting the Past: London’s Ancient City Walls Tue, 09 Apr 2013 09:00:42 +0000 Did you know that the City of London used to be protected by a great wall dating back to Roman times, the remains of which can still be seen today?

The Romans built a wall around the city of Londinium in around AD 200 but it fell into disrepair after the Roman occupation of Britain ended in AD 410. The city was abandoned for the next 400 years.

London was re-established inside the city walls in the 9th-century and throughout the medieval period the wall was repaired and strengthened. From the 16th-century onwards, London outgrew its ancient walls and much of it was either knocked down or covered by new buildings. The remains of the wall, hidden inside more modern buildings, were revealed after bombing in the Second World War destroyed large areas of the City of London.

Several sections of city wall have been preserved and are well worth visiting. They give a glimpse back in time to Roman and medieval London. Highlights include:

  • Outside Tower Hill Underground station –  the Roman part of the wall is more than  four metres (13 feet) high
  • The courtyard of the Grange City Hotel in Cooper’s Row – the windows (loop holes) used by medieval archers can still be seen
  • St Alphege Gardens, Wood Street – you can see almost the full height of the medieval wall
  • The churchyard of St Giles’ Cripplegate – medieval towers added to the city wall in the 13th-century are still visible
  • Museum of London – two medieval towers and a section of city wall, altered in the 19th-century, stand in a garden next to the museum

Museum of LondonYou can find out more about the ancient city wall on the Museum of London website, or if you’d like to explore the remains of the wall, you can download the London Wall Walk guide.

A guest post by Meriel Jeater, of the Museum of London as part of our Visiting the Past series. More about London’s fascinating history next week.

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Roman Remains Found at Syon Park in West London Wed, 17 Nov 2010 11:30:31 +0000

An entire Roman settlement full of ancient artefacts and human remains has been found in West London.

Archeologists discovered the treasures following excavations at the Grade I-listed Syon Park, pictured above. The dig took place ahead of the construction for the new luxury hotel, London Syon Park, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel, set to open in early 2011.

More than 11,000 Roman items have been found, buried just half a metre below the ground surface, where they’ve lain undiscovered for almost 2,000 years.

Star finds include:

  • a section of one of Roman Britain’s most important roads, linking Londinium with the Roman town of Silchester
  • a rural settlement
  • an ancient tributary of the Thames
  • Roman human skeletons and some very unusual burials
  • two shale armlets
  • fragments of a lava quernstone
  • an exceptional Late Bronze Age (1000-700 BC) gold bracelet from an earlier age

Jo Lyon, a senior archaeologist at the Museum of London Archaeology, says, “We were extremely fortunate to discover such a comprehensive repertoire of Roman finds and features so close to the surface. They tell us a great deal about how the people of this village lived, worked and died.

“The archaeology at Syon Park has given us a valuable, rare insight into the daily life of an agricultural village on the outskirts of Londinium (London) that would have supplied the Roman city and provided shelter for travellers passing through.

“It helps us build a picture of the Roman landscape and shows how the busy metropolis of Londinium connected with the rest of Roman Britain.”

Some of the artefacts are going to be displayed at the new hotel. Dale MacPhee, general manager at the new London Syon Park, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel says,

“The Roman findings add to the wonderful uniqueness of our destination and the hotel, which through its design and guest experience, will pay homage to the heritage of the Syon Park estate. We hope to curate a showcase of the key Roman relics within the hotel lobby for guests to reflect on when we open next year.”

Visit to find out more. And don’t forget you can see more remains from Roman London on the Roman London Amphitheatre Tours, or at the Museum of London

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