Londinios: A History of the British Capital

Londinios: A History of the British Capital

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Have you ever been to London?

This fabulous, dynamic city is capital of the United Kingdom and for many good reasons.

It is certainly worth travelling to if you’ve not done so already. And if you’ve not been before - why not?

Travel to the capital is easy, with motorways, bus routes, rail tracks, and flight routes, all centring here.

You can stay over in a hotel, or even book one of the days hotel london offers with daybreakhotels.com. This allows you to rest in a room for a few hours following your arrival, between bouts of sightseeing, or to freshen up before your evening entertainment and return home.

London was founded around the year 50 AD by the Romans following their invasion of Britain in the year 43 AD.

Londinios translates as ‘the place of the bold one’.

By the end of the 2nd century London had a wall built around it, and by the middle of the 3rd century these walls had semi-circular towers projecting from the walls, called bastions.

London continued to grow and thrive. It quickly became an important port. People built houses made from wood or stone with tiled roofs. Roman London also boasted an ampitheatre, a town hall, shops, and works producing glass, bricks, and pottery.

After the Romans came the Saxons.

In 604 a bishop was appointed. In 640 London established its first mint.

London suffered many attacks and invasions over the centuries, however, including by Queen Boudicca in 61 AD, the Danes in 842 AD, and then King Olaf of Norway and his vikings in the 11th century.

Shortly after this, Edward the Confessor built a palace in London, as well as Westminster Abbey.

Westminster Abbey (Photo: PublicDomainPictures)

In medieval London streets were often named after the trades of the people working there. These names are often still in use today. So, Bakers lived on Bread Street; cows were milked on Milk Street; and so on.

By 1600 there was around 250,000 people living in London.

The first street lamps (made of oil) were lit in 1685, and the Bank of England was established in 1694.

London continued to grow, the population increasing from 950,000 in 1800 to 6 million in 1900, due to the Industrial Revolution.

Hospitals and transport systems were put in place.

Following the wars at the beginning of the 20th century, London boomed. In the 50s, car manufacture brought a lot of business to the capital, as did aircraft factories and the docks.

London in 1955 (Photo: Ben Brooksbank)

Now, in the 20th century, there are 8.1 million people living in London. There are many high tech buildings and systems in place. However, the past is evident all around in its churches, castles, bridges, and place names.

Londinios is now London, but any visitor can view the changes this city has undergone, even in the midst of modernity.

Take a trip to London and find out for yourself!

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