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The first mention of London in Roman times is by Tacitus, in 62AD, during the reign of Nero, saying Londinium ‘did not rank as a Roman colony, but was an important centre for businessmen and merchandise’.

Any comments - or a suggestion for a London secret? Please e-mail me.

Rome

Temple of Mithras

Mithras was a sun god of the Persians whose men-only cult was introduced to Rome from Asia Minor. The Temple was in use from 90 AD to 350 AD and replaced an earlier pagan temple. It sat on the banks of the Walbrook River - which is now lost underground as part of London’s sewage system.

Queen Victoria Street EC4
Tube: Mansion House

Boadicea

Boudica (in modern spelling) was a queen of the Iceni tribe who led an uprising against the Roman Empire in AD61 and razed London. Ironically, her myth grew at the height of the British Empire – during the reign of Queen Victoria – with this statue by Thomas Thornycroft erected in 1905. Note her chariot has no reins.

Westminster Bridge WC2
Tube: Westminster

Roman Girl’s Grave

In front of the Gherkin building is the grave of a Roman teenage girl. Her remains - dating back 1,500 years - were found here during the building of the Swiss Re tower and she was given a Roman reburial after construction was finished. Aged between 13 and 17, she died between 350 and 400 AD.

30 St Mary Axe EC3
Tube: Aldgate

Amphitheatre

This oval marked out in front of the Guildhall marks the extent of London’s Roman amphitheatre, the remains of which can be seen in the basement of the Guildhall Gallery. It is thought the theatre held 6,000 to 7,000 spectators from London’s 20,000 citizens of the time.

Guildhall Yard, Gresham St EC2
Tube: Bank

The Roman Wall

Just outside the Museum Of London is another section of the Roman Wall, which can also be seen from the Barbican complex. The wall was two miles (3.2km) long, six to nine feet (two to three metres) thick and up to 18 feet (5.5 metres) high.

Museum Of London
150 London Wall EC2
Tube: Barbican
www.museumoflondon.org.uk

Roman Wharf piling

Standing in the outside porch of St Magnus Martyr church is this piling from the Roman river wall dating to about 75AD. It was dug up in 1931 during building work nearby in Fish Street Hill. Oyster shell dumps were also found on the site which was destroyed in the fire of 120AD that destroyed the Roman city.

Lower Thames Street EC3
Tube: Monument

The Roman Wall

About 200 AD a defensive wall was built around the Roman settlement and the area within is still what we call The City. Built of rock from Kent and layers of brick, the wall was raised in height during Medieval times.  The (replica) bronze statue of Emperor Trajan was found in a Southampton scrapyard.

Tower Hill EC3
Tube: Tower Hill

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