It’s hard to believe, but the ancient Roman Empire actually extended up into the United Kingdom. In fact, there are several dozen Roman ruins scattered throughout the country, with three of them located in London. The oldest of these ruins dates back to 74 A.D. Can you imagine what the country looked like back then? London was called “Londinium” and looked absolutely nothing like it does today. Here are the details on the remaining sections of these three ancient structures:
Fort: This fort dates back to 120 AD and was built to house soldiers. It was originally built in the square shape that the Romans loved so much, and took up over 12 acres of land on what is now Noble Street. If you want to see some of these ancient remains, head to Noble Street across from the intersection of Noble and Oat Lane. The remaining parts of the fort are near St. Anne and St. Agnes Lutheran Church. Some sections can be seen aboveground, but to see others, you will have to go into the nearby underground parking garage.
Amphitheatre: This amphitheatre was originally built in 74 AD, although it was renovated around 50 years later, so some of the remaining sections have been dated to 120 AD. It is believed to have held close to 6,000 people at a time when the city of Londinium only had 20,000, all of whom more than likely attended at least one of the bloody and incredibly violent gladiator matches that were held here. The amphitheatre is located off of Gresham Street and is a part of the Guildhall Art Gallery, so admission to the gallery will also get you into a tour of the remaining sections of the amphitheatre as well. You will be able to see parts of the walls, holding pens for the gladiators and a few wooden drains.
Wall: Looking at a stone wall doesn’t sound very exciting, but that’s before you realize that this wall was built between 190 AD and 220 AD. It was once three miles long and was built to protect Londinium after the Romans conquered it. There was once a fort that butted up against the wall, but that is long gone. Although it originally stretched from Fir Hill to Blackfriars, and has been incorporated into some of the buildings around it, part of this ancient structure can clearly be seen on Tower Hill between the Trinity Square Gardens and The London Metropolitan University.