‘Most renowned for the quantity of merchants and goods’, wrote Tacitus of London on the eve of its destruction by Boudicca in ad 60/61. Commerce brought London into being; it became the chief administrative centre and largest city of Roman Britain, with the most capacious basilica north of the Alps.
Despite intensive building and rebuilding in subsequent centuries, powerfully evocative traces of the Roman city remain. These have dramatically increased as a result of Second World War bombing and emergency archaeology in advance of obliteration by foundations for skyscrapers. Knowledge of the Roman city and of the lives of its people has made huge strides in recent years.
There are well-preserved sections of the Roman walls at Tower Hill and beside the Barbican, a fort near Cripplegate, an amphitheatre under the Guildhall and a large residential complex and baths at Billingsgate. Construction of the Bloomberg Building yielded some astonishing wooden writing tablets among numerous other artefacts. All are testimony to changing Roman lifestyles and the waxing and waning of Londinium's fortunes. The newly re-displayed Mithraeum reveals that a sophisticated and cosmopolitan Mediterranean culture flourished on this far-away island.
The Museum of London has an outstanding collection of evidence for the development of the Roman city and its people, displaying mosaics, coins and tombstones and conveying how new scientific techniques are expanding our understanding of this foundational era in London’s evolution.
Start and finish
9.45am Tower Hill Underground Station, c. 5.00pm The Museum of London (Barbican, St Paul's, Moorgate).
£185. Includes morning refreshments, lunch, special admissions and donations.
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The day is spent on foot, both standing around and walking on pavements. There are steps down to the Billingsgate bathhouse.
Are you fit enough to join the tour?
Maximum 15 participants.
We will return the full amount if you notify us 22 or more days before the event. We will retain 50% if cancellation is made within three weeks and 100% if within three days. Please put your cancellation in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. We advise taking out insurance in case of cancellation and recommend that overseas clients are also covered for possible medical and repatriation costs.