During the two World Wars, the city experienced
destitution. Unemployment was high, and during the dark
days of 1940, over...
The history of London starts with the Roman invasion of 43 CE. Before the Roman
invasion, the site of London was just mars...
The population expanded during the 19th
century, from about 1 million in 1800 to
over 6 million a century later, exceeding...
MEDIEVAL LONDON
The medieval history of London begun
on Christmas Day, 1066, when William
the Conqueror was crowned King o...
The second catastrophe was
the Great Fire. On the night of
the 2nd September 1666 a
small fire started in the shop of
the ...
London under the Tudors was a prosperous, busy city, full of life, with a
population of the City of about 75,000, rising t...
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History of London - CoArt & Pro

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Presentation made by CoArt & Pro about the history of London.
Eu Treasure Hunt Project.
CoArt & Pro.

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History of London - CoArt & Pro

  1. 1. During the two World Wars, the city experienced destitution. Unemployment was high, and during the dark days of 1940, over a third of the City was destroyed by German bombs, and the London Docks were largely demolished. The area worst hit was the City itself, but strangely, St. Paul's Cathedral (pictured right) suffered only minor damage. Some 16 acres around the area that now houses the Barbican development (pictured left) and the Museum of London were totally flattened, and numerous historic buildings were destroyed. Heavy immigration from countries of the old British Empire changed the character of the city after the war. Notting Hill was populated by a large number of Caribbean people, Hong Kong immigrants settled in Soho, Sikhs in Southall, Cypriots in Finsbury and Bangladeshis around Brick Lane. Heathrow airport opened to commercial flights in 1946, and the first double-decker red buses dubbed the Routemasters (right) appeared in 1956. The Thames Barrier (left) was built in 1972-82 to control flooding along the river. This amazing engineering achievement consists of 10 moveable underwater gates supported by 7 shining steel half-domes, in the shape of shells, spread across the river. The dot com bubble of the 1990s boosted trade and communication all over the world, and Britain was one of the first countries to embrace the new technology of computers and connectivity. Today, all of Britain's internet activity goes through a hub at Canary Wharf (right), right here in London. The last great building project of the century was the Millennium Dome (left), an exhibition centre beside the Thames in North Greenwich. The Dome, which opened on the 1st January 2000, is a massive complex, displaying sponsored exhibits on the human experience of life, including Faith, Science, and Biology. London's latest project is the massive complex being built in East London to serve as the 2012 Olympics sport facilities, and last for generations to come, and is the latest notch in a very colourful city history. A Short History of the City of London ROMAN LONDON ANGLO-SAXON LONDON MEDIEVAL LONDON TUDOR LONDON STUART LONDON GEORGIAN LONDON VICTORIAN LONDON 20th-21st CENTURY LONDON PRO ART & CO Designed by: www.keanadesigns.com
  2. 2. The history of London starts with the Roman invasion of 43 CE. Before the Roman invasion, the site of London was just marshy ground with small islands of gravel and sand. The Roman army could not cross the river and the first "London Bridge" was built. The Roman settlement was on the north side of the bridge and was called Londinium, the beginnings of London's name. Londinium became an important trading centre for goods brought up the Thames by boat and unloaded at wooden docks by the bridge. The first major attack against the city was brought by Boudicca, warrior queen of the Iceni tribe (from what is now EastAnglia), when she launched her rebellion against the Romans in 60-61 CE. She targetted the traders, to destroy the city by striking its livelihood, and thousands of the trade settlers were killed. But by 200 CE, Londinium had grown again, and had one of the largest Roman basilica - town hall, forum, market place (today this is Gracechurch Street in the City), a governor's palace, a temple, bathhouses, and a large fort for the city garrison with a wall built around the city. This area within the wall is now London's famous financial district, nicknamed the Square Mile. The best Roman remain in London is the Temple of Mithras from the 2nd Century. Artifacts from this site are now in the Museum of London. ROMAN LONDON London Bridge today. Statue of Boudicaa, Thames Embankment. City of London, the "Square Mile" In 1848, the Great Potato Famine struck Ireland bringing over 100,000 impoverished Irish refugees who fled their native lands and settled in London, making at one time up to 20% of the total population of the city. Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband, was responsible for the Great Exhibition of 1851. This was the first great world's fair, a showcase of technology and manufacturing from countries all over the world. The Exhibition was held in Hyde Park, and the centrepiece was Joseph Paxton's revolutionary iron and glass hall, dubbed the "Crystal Palace". The proceeds from the Great Exhibition went towards the founding of two new permanent displays, which became the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Londoners living conditions were still terrible; children as young as 5 were often working, begging or sweeping chimneys (Charles Dickens describes this in his novel Oliver Twist). Only after the Industrial Revolution were living conditions improved among London's poor, and when the government provided compulsory education for children between the ages of 5 and 12, in 1870. However, the Industrial Revolution was very important, because the idea of earning wages was new to many of the new Londoners and society was adjusting to the idea of money in the hands of all classes of people. It was from this that the consumer society emerged. Left: Piccadilly Circus, centre of the shopping & entertainment district today 20th-21st CENTURY LONDON This is when technology really started to boom. In 1904, the first motor bus service in London began, followed by the first underground electric train in 1906. New luxury hotels, department stores, and theatres, particularly in the West End, soon followed. The Ritz opened in 1906, Harrod's new Knightsbridge store in 1905, and Selfridges in 1907, as well as the London Palladium and 60 more music-halls.
  3. 3. The population expanded during the 19th century, from about 1 million in 1800 to over 6 million a century later, exceeding London's ability to look after the basic needs of its citizens. Coal-fired stoves and poor sanitation made the air heavy and foul-smelling, and raw sewage was dumped straight into the Thames River. And yet new arrivals continued to crowd into the city in search of work. Nothing improved until Joseph Bazalgette, an engineer, built over 2100 km of tunnels and pipes to divert the sewage outside the city. This made a drastic impact on the death rate, and outbreaks of cholera dropped dramatically. Bazalgette was also responsible for the design of the Embankment, Battersea, Hammersmith, and Albert Bridges. In 1829, Sir Robert Peel founded the Metropolitan Police to handle law and order in areas outside the City proper. These police became known as "Bobbies" after their founder. In 1830, Trafalgar Square (pictured) and the new National Gallery were created. The early part of the 19th century was the golden age of steam. The first railway in London was built from London Bridge to Greenwich in 1836, and a great railway explosion followed. Major stations were built at Euston (1837), Paddington (1838), Fenchurch Street (1841), Waterloo (1848), and King's Cross (1850). The first underground railway in London, from Paddington to Farringdon Road was completed in 1863. The Thames was congested with ships from all over the world, and London had more shipyards than any other place in the world. The Cutty Sark Clipper still remains from this era (pictured above). In 1834, the Houses of Parliament at Westminster Palace burned down. They were replaced by the mock- Gothic Houses of Parliament designed by Charles Barry and A.W. Pugin (pictured right), this is the one which we have today. The clock tower, Big Ben (pictured left), wasn't built till 25 years after. VICTORIAN LONDON London continued to grow, so more people meant more trade and more religion. In 604 CE, the first St. Paul's Cathedral was founded, on the site of the present St. Paul's (pictured). However, the growing wealth of the city was tempting, so London was attacked, first by the Danes in 851 CE, then by the Anglo-Saxons and Norwegian Vikings in 1014. It was then that London Bridge was destroyed, and some people say that the nursery rhyme "London Bridge is Falling Down" descends from this event. The city became the most prosperous and largest city in Britain under the French- raised Edward the Confessor who brought trade and new immigrants. Edward was an extremely religious man and built a monastery and a church on Thorney Island, on the river Thames, Westminster Abbey on an island, and moved his court there. When Edward died in 1065, his successor, Harold, was crowned in the new abbey, confirming London's role as the most important city in England. ANGLO-SAXON LONDON Left: Harold, pictured on the Bayeux Tapestry. Right: Haley's Comet, pictured on the Bayeux Tapestry. Above: Westminster Abbey today.
  4. 4. MEDIEVAL LONDON The medieval history of London begun on Christmas Day, 1066, when William the Conqueror was crowned King of England in a ceremony at the newly finished Westminster Abbey, just three months after his victory at the Battle of Hastings. William granted the citizens of London special privileges, but he also built a castle, the Tower of London, to keep the city under the control. The Tower acted as the royal residence, and it was only later that became famous as a prison. During the medieval period it also acted as a royal mint, treasury, and even housed the beginnings of a zoo. After William's death, his brother Henry needed support from London merchants to save the throne and gave them the right to levy taxes and elect a sheriff. In 1176, the first stone London Bridge was built, at the site of the original Roman bridge. This bridge was the only one in London until 1739. Because the passage across this bridge was narrow and clogged with traffic, it was usually much quicker for travellers to hire boatmen to transport them across the river. Left: London Bridge as it used to be William the Conqueror on the Bayeux Tapestry The Tower of London today GEORGIAN LONDON The early years of the 18th century brought the birth of newspapers in London. The earliest was Richard Addison's Spectator, satisfying the demands of an increasingly literate population. Many of the newspapers were along Fleet Street. At the same time, there was the Palladian Revival in architecture and art, so the culture of fine arts started to flourish in the capital. In 1739, Westminster Bridge was the second bridge ever to be built other than the London Bridge, which had become rather crowded as you can see above! Following this boom in art and architecture, the British Museum opened its doors for the first time in 1759. The museum was based on a collection of "curiosities" collected by Sir Hans Sloane. It was then that shops (see right) selling collectibles emerged and continued being a popular pastime in the coming eras. Another major development was the popularity of coffee houses as a forum for business, entertainment, and social activity. The London coffee houses were immensely popular, and certain houses became associated with different political viewpoints or kinds of commercial activity. It was in one of these coffee houses, New Jonathan's, that merchant entrepreneurs gathered, and formed what was to become the London Stock Exchange. But it wasn't all quiet! In 1737, a series of satires staged at the Theatre Royal Haymarket infuriated Puritans so much that the Lord Chamberlain introduced censorship over all public theatre performances. This power was not revoked until 1968! The last major event in Georgian London happened in 1780 with the Gordon Riots. The riots began as a march through the streets of London to protest the Catholic Relief Act, which granted basic rights to Catholics. The marchers let their religious prejudice boil over into a week of looting and murder. The Gordon Riots terrified the authorities inciting them to bring repressive measures against any form of protest or “dangerous” writing.
  5. 5. The second catastrophe was the Great Fire. On the night of the 2nd September 1666 a small fire started in the shop of the king's baker in Pudding Lane. Fanned by a strong wind, the fire soon became an inferno. For four days the fire raged through the close- packed streets of wooden houses, until the wind died. It purified London, and stopped the plague, and only 8 lives were lost in the Great Fire, but four-fifths of the city was completely destroyed, including 13,000 buildings, 89 churches, 52 company halls, and the old St. Paul's Cathedral, so it is difficult to get a real sense of what the city was like at that time. Within days after the Great Fire, Christopher Wren, an architect and scientist, came up with a plan for rebuilding the city with broad boulevards and open squares replacing the maze of alleys and small streets, but Wren's plan was expensive so the new buildings were built along the same street pattern as before. Instead, Wren rebuilt the destroyed churches, including St. Paul's Cathedral. Most of the churches in London today are Wren's work, and it is difficult to find churches from before the fire. British involvement in India during the 17th and 18th century had brought, among other things, a lucrative trade ring, and the East India Trading Company exclusively managed commerce between India and Britain. Twenty or thirty ships a year were sent to Asia and annual sales in London were worth up to £2 million, a gigantic sum in those days. India offered foreign traders the skills of its artists and craftsmen in weaving cloth and winding raw silk, agricultural products for export, such as sugar, the indigo dye or opium, and the services of substantial merchants and rich bankers. Richard I acknowledged the right of London to self-government in 1191 leading to the election of the first Mayor. This was a popular move, and won favour with the residents and traders. The London merchants continued to support the monarchs, and when they finally helped Edward IV to the throne in 1461, he knighted many of them in gratitude. The government of the city was a Lord Mayor and council elected from the ranks of the merchant guilds. These guilds effectively ran the city and controlled commerce. Each guild had its own hall and their own coat of arms, but there was also the Guildhall where representatives of the various guilds met in common. Medieval London was a maze of streets and lanes. Most of the houses were half-timbered whitewashed with lime. The threat of fire was constant, and laws were passed to make sure that all householders had fire-fighting equipment on hand. Plague was also a constant threat, particularly because sanitation was so basic. London was subject to 16 outbreaks of the plague between 1348 and the Great Plague of 1665. Many of the streets in the city were named after the particular trade which practiced there. For example, Threadneedle Street was the tailor's district, Bread Street had bakeries, and on Milk Street cows were kept for milking. There was also a very active livestock market at Smithfield. The prime property in London was the Strand, where many rich landowners built homes. Lawyers settled at Temple and along Fleet Street. The Fleet River was navigable by boats and docks were set up at what is now Farringdon Street. The Fleet River was covered over in the 18th century. Merchant Guilds (Alderman), Hogarth.
  6. 6. London under the Tudors was a prosperous, busy city, full of life, with a population of the City of about 75,000, rising to 200,000 around 1600. Many aspects of life were changed. During Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries, the 13 religious houses in London were either converted for private use or pulled down for building materials, leaving only the names they gave to areas of the city, such as Greyfriars, Whitefriars and Blackfriars. In 1637, Charles I opened the royal reserve of Hyde Park (left) making it the first royal park to be made public. Henry VIII's daughter Queen Elizabeth I was one of the most renowned monarchs in the world, and it was under her that traders and explorers started going further and further out of the known world. The mercer Thomas Gresham founded an international exchange in 1566 to allow London to compete for financial power with Amsterdam. This became the Royal Exchange in 1560 (pictured right), and is now housed in a massive Victorian building beside the Bank of England Museum in Mansion House Square. After the Reformation, theatres were banned in the city of London, because the city authorities (guilds) thought they wasted workmen's time. The theatres moved across the Thames to Southwark, outside the authority of the city government, and became the entertainment district for London. Left is a typical theatre advertisement of the time. The Globe Theatre, staging Shakespeare's plays, was built on the South Bank in 1599, though it burned down in 1613. A modern Globe replica (right) has been built near the original site. Southwark was also a favorite area for entertainment, like bull or bear-baiting. TUDOR LONDON STUART LONDON The history of Stuart London started with Catholic conspirators planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament when they opened on 5th November 1605, hoping to kill the new king, James I. The plot and Guy Fawkes, a man who was supposed to blow it up, were discovered in cellars beneath Parliament with kegs of explosives, causing Fawkes torture and execution. This event, called the Gunpowder Plot, is commemorated each year with the celebration of Bonfire Night on the 5th November and by the popular poem "Remember, Remember The Fifth of November". In the early Stuart years, the landscape of London was changed by a great architect Inigo Jones who designed Covent Garden piazza in 1631, the first purpose-built square in the city. He also designed the Queen's House (Greenwich), the Banqueting Hall (Whitehall), and the Queen's Chapel. DISASTERS! The Stuart period had two major disasters, the Great Plague and the Great Fire. In 1665 Plague broke out in the city, brought by ship from Holland. The city descended into a state of panic. Ill people were locked in their houses, along with their families. It was thought that dogs and cats spread the disease, so the Lord Mayor ordered them all killed. This made it even worse, because the rats carried the plague, and there were no cats left to kill them. We estimate that 70,000 to well over 100,000 lives may have been lost. Covent Garden today.
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