One of the best things about London’s history is that it’s everywhere. So many people have called London home for thousands of years that they’ve all left traces of their presence peppered around the place.
The result is that it’s hard to move about London without finding a historical site, landmark or monument, and that’s great if you’ve got an eye for history. We’ve put together this list of some London history you can find within easy reaching distance of Montcalm Hotel Shoreditch, giving you some insight into the local history of the area.
The Roman Fort Gate & Ruins
Right on London Wall, which was, as you might have guessed, erected by the Romans during their time occupying the capital, is the oldest history you can find anywhere in London.
The Roman Fort Gate and its attendant ruins are a reminder that people thousands of years ago recognised the strategic importance of London. Located on the water and ideally situated for controlling the surrounding areas, the Romans made London their home for hundreds of years. The result is stunning ruins that point to just how firmly these ancient people established themselves in the area. The thick, stone walls and fort gate show that the Romans were serious about dominating the region and showing the true level of their power.
To get there from RLH Finsbury Square hotel, all you need to do is make a five-minute walk to Moorgate Station – Stop N and jump on the Central Line 100 service bound for City of London. Once you see the stop for London Wall Museum of London coming up, hop off, and you’re there.
St Mary Aldermanbury
A visit to St Mary Aldermanbury is unique because the place offers terrific, little-known insight into the complex history of London.
First mentioned in Royal property rolls back in 1181, St Mary Aldermanbury has existed in many different forms over its history, and the place carries a fascinating story. Destroyed in 1666 during the Great Fire of London, one of the most famous architects of the age – Christopher Wren – accepted the task of rebuilding the church and making it better than ever. Wren didn’t disappoint, delivering a beautiful structure that survived for nearly four-hundred years. The Blitz, however, causes extensive damage to the church, completely gutting the structure.
In the 1960’s, US college Westminster College purchased the remaining stonework and reassembled the church in Missouri. Today, the site is a beautiful garden with the stone footprint of the ancient church remaining.
Getting there on foot from your Montcalm Hotel Shoreditch only takes about ten minutes, and it’s a straightforward route. Follow Finsbury Square all the way down past Finsbury Circus, then take a right onto Coleman Street. Stay on Coleman Street, until you find Basinghall Avenue, turning right. Then, follow Basinghall Avenue until you find Aldermanbury and you’re there. St Mary Aldermanbury is a beautiful place – even sans church – and provides great insight into the multi-layered, complicated history of London.