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History of London

History of London

Numerous finds prove that the area around London was inhabited by the Celts from 800 BC onwards. The earliest prehistoric settlers in the London area lived along parts of the Thames valley. Some of their flint tools have been found in river graver. All the time it was mostly wild forested countryside.

In later prehistoric times the settlers became more organized. They lived in villages of huts made of timber, branches & clay. They hunted, fished & farmed.

Following Caesar’s initial landing in Britain in 55 BC, the Emperor Claudius conquered the south-east of Britain & founded the military camp of Londinium on a strategic ford across the Thames. The camp rapidly developed into a flourishing port & trading post. The area of about 1 square mile which the Romans fortified with a massive rampart corresponds approximately to today’s City of London.

They built a bridge over the Thames & there has been a “London Bridge” in the same area ever since.

Roman Londinium grew up on the northern side of the bridge. Products such as olive oil & wine were brought by ships from different parts of the Roman Empire & unloaded into wooden quays along the river.

Londinium was surrounded with a wall of stone & brick which lasted for many centuries.

Inside the Roman wall low houses were built with bright red tiled roofs. There were probably temples, bathhouses, shops & market stalls there.

Around AD 61, the Romans faced an uprising of Boadicea, the warlike Queen of East Anglia, who even succeeded in capturing London. From about 240 onwards, London was the capital of one of the four provinces of Britain under the Emperor Diocletian.


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