Tourist walk – The City – Institutions of the ancient City of London.
The ancient city of London, although only 1 mile squared in, size contains 2,000 years of intricately woven history. From the origins of Roman Londinium to today’s numerous skyscrapers and temples to finance, there is just too much to see and take in within the city boundaries, which is why ade4london has broken up his City walk into two parts, this one deals with the west side on the boundaries with the City of Westminster, and the other titled ‘ The nitty gritty of the ancient City’ deals predominantly with the east and south east of the City.
As the walk starts in the physical city centre, being Bank. Here we’ll learn about one of the most powerful financial institutions in town and hear of the growth of the exquisite Royal Exchange building, its predecessors, and the tiny alleyways that surround it that gave birth to the insurance industry.
As we move move north we’ll come to the Guildhall, the parliament of the City of London. It’s here that political and business undertakings have taken place since the 12th century. Only a few years ago building work unearthed yet more of London’s Roman past when an amphitheatre was discovered directly under the itself ancient Guildhall.
Savouring the smells of one of London’s oldest markets at Smithfield before heading to the arresting presence of the Old Bailey, the highest court of the land, which in turn stands on the footprint of the long demolished but infamous Newgate prison. Right in the centre of our walk we’ll stop at the city’s most iconic church, St Paul’s. No visit to London is complete without viewing this astounding piece of 17th century art, which thankfully and astonishingly survival the Luftwaffe blitz during WW2.
Following the intricate lines of Roman and medieval paths and alleyways, we’ll weave our way to Fleet street, once the home of the British newspaper industry where some incredibly fascinating buildings, Including St Bride’s church (where the shape of wedding cakes is said to derive from) and just off Fleet street in one of the many alleyways sits the gorgeous 17th century pub,the Olde Cheshire Cheese.
We follow this route as in a few seconds we arrive at the doorstep of one the founders of the modern English language, Dr Samuel Johnson. Johnson’s house in Gough Square is where the first dictionary giving explanations was penned, and in itself is a fine example of Georgian housing.
Our final destination takes us to the temple of law in the UK. London has four main Inn of courts, meaning centres of learning where lawyers have to learn their trade before they are called to the Bar. This area is known as the temple. And just before we head down to Temple station to finish our walk, I’ll point outside couple of rather scary dragon like creatures on either side of the road that denote the boundaries between the city of London and Westminster, and the historical differences between these two cities.
Take a stroll with Ade, a qualified London Borough Guide
‘Enthusing the enthusiastic’