Today we had a walking tour with a brilliant guide that we had been recommended (Thanks Luke & Becky). We met up with Jonnie our tour guide next to Tower Hill Station. If you are coming to London, and would like a walking tour, then we would recommend Jonnie! Jonnie was incredibly knowledgeable and has a passion for history was evident.
Jonnie showed us part of an ancient Roman wall from the second century. Jonnie explained the layout of the two towns of London (Londinium).
Jonnie then took us to the Tower Hill execution sites and showed us the memorials dedicated to all of those who were killed.
We walked down to the Tower of London where Jonnie explained about the big grass areas that were Moat's and Loopholes in the wall that were used to defend the Tower. It is interesting to see where words (like loop holes) and other expressions come from.
We learnt about the river Thames, and various aspects of the rivers history, such as the amount of artifacts that have been found there, and the cages that were used to drown prisoners. The river has a massive 23 foot tidal change twice per day. We learnt all of this looking over the Thames just up from Tower Bridge. Right beside us was an interesting piece of concrete that has been damaged by cannons while being used for ceremonies.
We spent some time enjoying Saint Dunstan in the East. This is an old ruin of a church (bombed during the second world war)that is pretty much just an outer wall, with stained glass windows frames. The inside of this church is a garden. It is a really magical little place.
Just a couple of lane ways away from Saint Dunstan in the East is The Monument. This is a monument to the Great Fire of London in 1666. The Monument is an impressive 203' tall. The height of this is same height that if the tower fell from where it sits, then the tip of it would land in the location of the bakers house of Thomas Farriner. The Great Fire was caused by the Thomas Farriners oven being left lit one night.
We then visited the site of the old London Bridge. This was right next to St Magnus the Martyr church. Inside St Magnus the Martyr there is an amazing model of the old London Bridge. The old bridge actually had houses along it, and people lived on the bridge. The current London Bridge is about 30 meters from the old one. The old bridge was sold and now reside in Arizona USA.
After crossing the London Bridge, we saw Guy Hospital. This was a pre anesthetic hospital! This is really hard to imagine.
We meandered our way through to Borough Market where we saw a lot including the location used in Happy Potter where the night bus dropped Harry at Leaky Cauldron, just next to where Harry woke up the next day and some the train going past. The trains actually run across the top of Borough Market.
We saw the Winchester Palace ruins, the Clink Prison, the old Globe Theater site, and the new Globe Theater.
We saw some pieces of Ben Wilson's art on the millennium bridge. These are very odd in that they are actually painted on chewing gum on the ground. But pretty cool in their own way.
Jonnie 's knowledge was very impressive. He was full of stories along the way. Such as a plaque on the wall of a house stating that Christopher Wren had lived there. He had apparently chosen the site to watch over the rebuild of St Paul's Cathedral. Wren was an architect who worked in rebuilding 52 churches that were damaged in the 1666 Great Fire The funny part was that Wren never lived there. In fact the house was built after he died! The plaque was placed there by a former owner of the house, and as a result of his humor, the house has a heritage listing!
There was a lot in the tour, including plenty that I have not mentioned.
After this tour, we grabbed a late lunch at Marks & Spencer then we made our we back to Euston Station to meet Grandma who was coming in on the National Rail from Lancaster. She was extremely surprised to see us all as she thought she was meeting us at the flat.
Our day was finished up with Fish & Chips back at the flat.