A Virtual Tour of Medieval London, Part One.

Map1 – St Magnus the Martyr


Among the many treasures here  is a modern scale model of “Old London Bridge” as it would have looked in its Medieval heyday.

2 – “Old London Bridge” (and Port of London)


“Old  London Bridge”  was built by Peter, chaplain of St Mary Colechurch, between 1176-1209.  There were scores of buildings on the bridge, including a chapel dedicated to St Thomas Becket (it was on the pilgrimage route to Canterbury).

The Medieval Port of London lay to either side of the bridge.

3 – Eastcheap


The site of one of the principal markets of the City in the Middle Ages, where livestock was  brought for slaughter.  The street would have been evil-smelling, and exceedingly unpleasant underfoot – whence the invention of the “patten” (recalled in the name of the church of St Margaret Pattens).

4 – Custom House, Thames Street



The site of the original Custom House, built at least as long ago as 1377, close to the centre of activity on the waterfront.  Geoffrey Chaucer once worked here as a “Comptroller of the Customes and Subside of Wools, Skins and Tanned Hides.

5 – All Hallows Barking, Byward Street

Among the Medieval features here are:


an altar table of stone salvaged by the Knights Templar from a Crusader castle in the Holy Land;


a Flemish altar-piece known as the “Tate Panel”;


and the  canopied tomb of one John Croke.

6 – Tower Hill



The site of the executions of Robert Hales, the Lord High Treasurer, and Simon of Sudbury, the Archbishop of Canterbury, during the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381.

Somewhat to the east, in East Smithfield, is a recently-excavated “plague pit” in which victims of the “Black Death” of 1348-9 were buried.

7 – Tower of London


Originally built by William I, William II and Henry I in the late eleventh to early  twelfth centuries (keep), and extended by Henry III in the mid  thirteenth (inner curtain wall) and Edward I in the late thirteenth to early fourteenth (outer curtain wall).

8 – St Olave Hart Street


Originally built in wood in the eleventh century, and subsequently  rebuilt in stone in the late twelfth to early thirteenth, and again in the mid fifteenth, around 1450.

9 – Crutched Friars


The site of one of the many monastic houses in Medieval London, founded by the crossed,  crouched or crutched friars in the late thirteenth century.

10 – All Hallows Staining, Mark Lane


Originally built in the early Medieval period, and rebuilt in the late.  The fourteenth- or fifteenth- century tower still stands.

11 – Fenchurch Street


First recorded in 1283, although evidently already in existence earlier.  Takes its name from St Gabriel Fenchurch, and the “fen” or marshy ground surrounding the Langborne, a lost tributary of the Thames.

12 – Aldgate



The site of one of the seven gates in the Medieval city wall.  Geoffrey Chaucer lodged in the gate-house while working in the Custom House in Billingsgate.

13 – Leadenhall Street


First recorded in the post-Medieval period,  although evidently already in existence in the Medieval.  Takes its name from a  lead-roofed manor-house converted into a market in 1309, given to the City – by Dick Whittington – in 1411, and rebuilt – by John Croxton – between 1440-55.

14 – 76 Leadenhall Street




The site of the remains of Holy Trinity Priory, founded by Augustinian canons in 1108, and extended and rebuilt in the later Medieval period.

15 – St Katharine Cree, Leadenhall Street


Originally built at the turn of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and rebuilt in the early sixteenth (and again in the early seventeenth).  The surviving  tower dates to 1500-4.

16 – St Andrew Undershaft, Leadenhall Street/St Mary Axe


Originally built in the twelfth century, and rebuilt in the fourteenth, and again in the sixteenth, between 1530-2.

17 –  St Mary Axe


The site of the church of St Mary Axe, originally built in the twelfth century, and suppressed as idolatrous in 1561.  The church purportedly  housed one of the axes that St Ursula and her accompanying  “eleven thousand Virgins”  were beheaded with, possibly by Attila the Hun.

4 thoughts on “A Virtual Tour of Medieval London, Part One.

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