A potted history of London
London began its life as a Roman settlement after the Roman Conquest in AD 43. In the ensuing centuries it fell into Anglo Saxon and Norman hands, but it was only in Medieval times that the London we know today began to take shape. This era witnessed the construction of the first London Bridge and the Black Death, when half of London’s population died.
In the 16th century, flourishing trade with other countries made London an important commercial centre. The 17th century by contrast is marked by the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London, in which 60 per cent of the city including the old St Paul’s Cathedral was destroyed.
As the British Empire expanded and the Industrial Revolution began, London flourished as a commercial centre in the 18th century, while the 19th century was the time of Victorian London, an era of great construction in London, which witnessed the building of the railway and Underground lines that now sprawl across the city.
In more recent years London has gained a reputation for being at the cutting edge of design and fashion, led by the revolutions of the 1960s.
The city has seen a range of new additions to its skyline, from the London Eye in 1999 to the Shard and the Olympic Park in 2012. So wherever you look in London, you will see its history in every corner.