London – 1066 and All That

Blackfriars underground station, London

Guided by Kevin

Walk Times

Day Walk Type Start Time End Time
23 March 2024 Special 2.30 pm 4.30 pm Winter Reserve Online

The Archaeological Tour that explores London at the end of the Saxon period and the beginning of the Norman.

The Norman Conquest of 1066 defines Britain in a way unmatched by any other event.  On this walk we explore the London that William conquered and how he changed England for all time.

London was England’s most important city but not yet the capital.  It was crucial to William in his attempt to conquer the realm but he failed to capture London.  He failed to push his arm across the heavily defended London Bridge after the defeat of the English King at the Battle of Hastings.

The future of England was in the balance as he sought to find a way across the river. And set the seal on his conquest. Persuade the English that resistance was hopeless. Persuade them with the mailed fist.

The Conqueror got his way. Once across the river, the English leaders sued for peace, and William was crowned at the newly built Westminster Abbey. The English hoped for a strong King who would rule with the people.  But William began by building castles to oppress the people he’d conquered. And in a matter of months he swept aside the English aristocracy and establishment and replaced them with his fellow Normans.

It was a death blow to Anglo-Saxon culture, but the City made accommodation with the new regime and the first Lord Mayor of London was an Englishman.

On the walk we explore the Late Saxon City of London and how it changed in the 11th and 12th Centuries.

The tour is by Kevin Flude, former Archaeologist at the Museum of London

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