The Museum of London has a very good and interesting series of leaflets which describe the walls of the City in a walk taking anything between 2-4 hours, depending on how fast you walk, how long you linger and inwardly digest the information boards, and how many refreshment stops are necessary! And Barryoneoff tells us all about the gates.
Why am I doing this? Well, it is free, one of my aims, and secondly Mr Bradshaw has barely taken me beyond the walls so I thought it would be an interesting variation on our journey.
Yesterday it was extremely cold, with a nasty little wind shooting pinpricks of sleet, and at least three defrosting stops were necessary. How did the Romans manage? Or anyone else for that matter – I come from a warmer climate and the cold gets right down into my bones.
Enough of wimpish behaviour – the Romans would not have approved!
The Wall’s eastern end is at the Tower of London.
At Cooper’s Row there is a long section of the wall, and the green, mossy part in the middle is a stair up on to the ramparts –
The Aldgate, one of seven City gates, was situated at the crossing point of Duke’s Place, Aldgate High Street, and Jewry Street, and on the road leading to Colchester. This is a modern version, I think. At this point the wall turned towards the west, on the right hand side of today’s London Wall street. The Wall followed the line of the buildings on the right, and beyond those was the Houndsditch, still a street today.
And even though it was a miserably cold day I found this mimosa in flower, with St Botolph-Without-Aldgate in the background. There has been a church on this site for over 1,000 years – I can’t quite get my mind around one thousand years.
The site of the Bishopsgate –
The picture below presents 2,000 years of history. The Roman wall is on the left, and on the left of the church the brick wall peeping out is part of a fort on the wall; the Church is All Hallows on the Wall and only dates from the late 1700s, but there has been a church on the site for 1,000 years; and today’s City looms over everything.
The next gate was Moorgate, at the crossroads of London Wall Street and Moorgate Street. The building of the wall apparently affected the drainage of the moors beyond and people had to travel on boats!
The Roman Wall in the Barbican, heading towards the Museum of London, and on the site of St Alphage London Wall, but very little of the church remains –
Just beyond this, at the end of Wood Street and in the Barbican, stood Cripple Gate. It too is demolished.
The Wall with the remains of one of the towers, just next to the Museum of London, the site of a large fort. There is a good section of Wall here, with the remains of further towers and a fish pond – you get a very good feel for what it was like – but my hand wobbled and the picture is blurred!
I popped into Postman’s Park to check on the flowers and the azalea is still in full, luxuriant, and generous bloom. There were beautiful pale pink camellias too, but sadly my hand wobbled again! The Park is on the line of the Aldersgate.
After that it was downwards towards Blackfriars Bridge, past the site of the Lud Gate which stood opposite a crossing of the Fleet River. There are no remains of the Wall in this area.
I walked past the Apothecaries Hall (on the site of the Blackfriars Priory) and down to Blackfriars Bridge. After all the exploration I rewarded myself with an organ recital (free) in St Paul’s Cathedral, where it was also warm!