A Brief History of Central London

 

Tower BridgeLondon has a long and fascinating history which we will all be familiar with to some extent. Founded by the Romans in 43AD London became the capital of Britain in the 2nd Century with a population of around 60,000, but by the time the Romans left around 410AD, the city was all but abandoned. The Anglo Saxons had reclaimed the area by the 6th Century and by the 12th Century, Medieval London was in full swing. London Bridge was completed in 1203 and is still known as one of London’s most famous landmarks. During the Tudor period, international trade became established and the city also became a centre of theatrical productions with the presence of William Shakespeare.

Over crowding was a characteristic of the city, and in 1665 a major outbreak of the Great Plague occurred. It has been said that 6000 people died in one week during this time, and in the following year 1666, a bakery in Pudding Lane caught fire, which led to the Great Fire of London which raged for days and up to 60% of the city was destroyed, but miraculously only 16 people were reported to have been killed.

London was re built and trade continued to increase and by the 18th Century the city was flourishing once more and some of London’s most spectacular buildings were built at this time, including St Paul’s Cathedral. The development of the printing press aided by the popularity of literacy meant that London became known as a centre for news and literature, and many of London’s characteristics were set down by Charles Dickens.

The Industrial Revolution brought railways to London, sealing the reputation it had gained as a forward thinking capital. Today, London remains one of the most creative and cosmopolitan cities in the world, as well as being a leading financial centre.