London: History, Art, and Society- Part One

Surprise! Since it’s my birthday week, I figured I’d gift you, as well as myself, a cheeky second post for the week. This one will be of my first field trip in my London Studies course here at Roehampton.

My second week of classes we went to the oldest part of London. The Romans settled just north of the Thames in what was to be named Londinium around 43 A.D. It was much smaller than what comes to mind when we think of today’s megacity.

Londinium was your typical ancient Roman city, complete with bathhouses, temples, even an amphitheatre (although much smaller than Rome’s own coliseum), and was surrounded by a stone wall.     IMG_2734

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Our first stop of the day was the Guildhall Galleries, which was actually built upon the amphitheatre. According to the gallery’s own website, the remains were discovered in 1985 during redevelopment. Inside the gallery’s basement, you can stand amid the rocks and rubble where gladiators fought and their spectators cheered. When you go back above ground and outside of the gallery, you can see a circle lining the courtyard which shows the scale of the amphitheatre (Guildhall Galleries is the building with the red flags, the basements where previous pictures were taken).

 

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The next stop was the Museum of London, which I had the privilege of visiting for the second time. On the way there, we had a chance to stop and see some of the remaining fragments of the original Londinium walls. The Roman portion is at the bottom, which was later used as a base and built upon during the medieval times (you can see the difference in the architecture in the photo) and eventually worked into the framework of more modern buildings.
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This trip to the Museum of London was much more informational than my previous trip, as I had the commentary of my professors.

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This trip was incredibly surreal; the amount of history and culture from ancient times that remains in London today blows my mind, and it is something I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of being exposed to.

Thank you so much for reading; I hope you’ve enjoyed this post! I hope you’ll come back for next week’s post!

Xx Jessica