Archive for April 13, 2015

Map of London City Walls

Map of London City Walls

The Roman city wall around London was built between 190-225 AD. Although most was built from scratch it did incorporate the northern and western walls of the Roman fort that had been built around 100 years earlier, although even here they doubled the thickness and height of the existing wall.

Roman wall showing original fort wall (left) and reinforced city wall (right)

Roman wall showing original fort wall (left) and reinforced city wall (right)

The reasons for building the wall are unclear and a number of hypotheses have been put forward

– it was connected with trouble in northern Britain
– it was built by the governor of Britain, Clodius Albinus, when he claimed the throne of the Emperor to protect his capital city. He was subsequently defeated by Septimus Severus.
– it was built to enable netter control of goods coming into and out of the city and the collection of taxes on goods.
– it was a civic prestige project marking the growth of Londinium as an important city in the empire.

The wall fell into dis-repair following the abandonment of the city after the Romans left Britain. However the line and foundations of the wall were used when it was renewed in the medieval period.

Roman wall remains at foot of Medieval wall

Roman wall remains at foot of Medieval wall

Roman wall remains at foot of Medieval wall

Roman wall remains at foot of Medieval wall

Roman wall remains at foot of Medieval wall

Roman wall remains at foot of Medieval wall

The best preserved section of Roman wall is at Tower Hill.

Roman wall at Tower Hill (Lower part of wall) incorporated into Medieval wall

Roman wall at Tower Hill (Lower part of wall) incorporated into Medieval wall

Roman wall at Tower Hill

Roman wall at Tower Hill