London History


London has a long and interesting history. Having been founded by the Romans in 43AD, London fell into disrepair after their departure with its main bridge collapsing. However its walls stood and it continued to function as a town, albeit a basic one. By the 600s, the Anglo-Saxons had created a settlement called Lundenwic, approximately 900 metres upstream from the old Roman city, around what is now Covent Garden. Trading grew until the city was overcome by the Vikings and forced to relocate back to the location of the Roman Londinium to use its walls for protection.

From these times to today, London has been the country's largest and most important city - growing gradually over the centuries.  Plague caused terrible tragedy and loss of live in London in the early 17th century, culminating in the Great Plague in 1665–1666 that killed around 100,000 people, up to a fifth of London's population. And this was then followed by the disastrous fire of 1666. The Great Fire of London broke out in the original City and quickly swept through London's wooden buildings, destroying large swathes of the city. Rebuilding took over ten years, largely under the direction of a Commission appointed by King Charles II, chaired by Sir Christopher Wren.

Parts of London, particularly in the East End, were destroyed during the bombing campaign of World War II, in which 30,000 people lost their lives. Despite causing a great deal of damage, the city was generally well renovated and where poorly designed or constructed buildings were erected, many of these are now being replaced by more modern and tasteful buildings.