London was founded by the ancient Romans and is one of the oldest cities in Europe. It‘s been the cultural centre of Britain for centuries and has lead the way for countless social, political and economic movements. It’s a city drenched in historic value and cultural significance, full of ancient structures and buildings.
The city is renowned for its important contributions to the world of architecture and is home to some amazing examples of unbelievably intricate building works. This guide will take you through the history of a few of the city’s oldest buildings, so you can delve into British history as you walk along the city’s streets.
There are many famous walls around the world and the London Wall is one that carries a great deal of history. It was built by the Romans some time during the 2nd or 3rd century AD as a tactical defensive structure. The Romans were renowned for their revolutionary battle tactics and the London Wall is a perfect example of that. It was built around the Roman settlement, which was then known as Londinium, to protect against invasions by the Pics. For 1,000 years it was used as a defensive structure and provided protection for the outer boroughs of London during the great fire in 1666. Parts of the wall’s structure still remain standing today and can be seen around the Barbican State and Tower Hill, both of which are just around the corner from The Montcalm London City Hotel.
St. Pancras Parish Church
Also referred to as St Pancras Old Church, this ancient structure is believed to be one of the oldest venues for religious worship in England. There’s little information on the construction of the church but historians believe that it was built around 300BC, which was only 150 years after London itself was officially established. By the mid-19th century St. Pancras Parish Church became unused and was made derelict, but was later restored due to population increases. The church still stands in Somers Town, giving visitors and tourists a chance to delve into British history.
Known to the world for being The Tower of London’s central structure, this iconic castle was built by the first Norman king of England, William the Conqueror. It was constructed in 1066 immediately after his successful invasion of England as a central headquarters and a statement of his power over London’s citizens. It took 12 years to build and was eventually extended to become part of what is now The Tower of London. Over the centuries it’s been used as a royal residence, a prison and a records keep. Today it is home to the Royal Armouries and contains exhibits that feature priceless artworks from around the world.
This is considered to be the birthplace of modern British democracy, as the oldest building on the parliamentary estate. It was constructed in1097 by order of King William II, who wanted to create a building equal in status to his father’s White Tower. At the time it was the largest hall in the whole of Europe and its roof’s architectural design was revered throughout the continent. It has been used for several purposes over the years including as a meeting place for dignitaries and a courthouse where the earliest versions of English law were practiced.