London Limousine Hire

By: Ram Singh

When you next come to London, consider booking a London Limousine for a tour of London and ponder on it's 2,000 year long history.

Did London begin in Creffield Road?

During the Stone Age, this now undistinguished street in the West London suburb of Acton was home and workshop to prehistoric flint workers. They left 600 worked flints, and discovery is one of the few on which our knowledge of pre-Roman London is based.

Together with the scant evidence of a hand-axe from Piccadilly Circus, the Acton locations are sites on an archaeologist's map through which an ancient river flowed and created gravel banks in the clay basin on its way to the North Sea.

Not until AD 43 does the story of London really begin, when the invading Roman army chose gravel banks between Southwark and the City as the site of their bridge. The Romans chose their site well. The river was the key to London's strategic importance and it would remain so through the centuries.

Roman London, the Celtic "Llyn-din", the fort by the lake, quickly took shape, but suffered a setback 17 years later when British guerrillas under Queen Boadicea attacked and burned areas around Lombard Street, Gracechurch Street and Walbrook.

A rebuilt Londinium, as the Romans called it, had by AD 100 supplanted Colchester as the capital and military and trading centre of Britain. It had a timber-built bridge, quays, warehouses and domestic buildings. Wattle and daub were faced with plaster; Kentish ragstone was brought by boat for public buildings and the necessary defensive wall constructed to resist raids by Saxons from the Continent.

Roads radiated to Colchester, York, Chester, Exeter, Bath and Canterbury. Subsequently by AD 288 the settlement's importance had been recognised by Rome. It was given the proud name Augusta, but that pride went before a fall.

In 410, threatened by the Germanic races from the north, Rome had no alternative but to recall its garrison from England. Culture withered and the very fabric of Londinium crumbled.

Under the Saxons, it recovered its importance. And in the early 8th century the literary monk, the Venerable Bede, called it the "Market of the World" and south of the original wooden London Bridge, the Borough came to independent existence.

By 900, Alfred, King of Wessex, had resisted Danish invasions, but subsequent attacks ended with Sweyn as King of England. After his death Canute was crowned in the palace of the Saxon kings which the City's Aldermanbury district near Guildhall is thought to perpetuate.

Two miles (3 km) up river on Thorney Island, the Monastery of St Peter, later the great Westminster, had been established. Following his accession in 1042, Edward the Confessor moved his court from the City to Westminster, thereby creating the division of royal and mercantile power which had a profound effect on the character and growth of London.

Edward, in lieu of his pilgrimage to Rome, set about rebuilding the Abbey, where succeeding kings were crowned, married and, until George III (d.1820), buried.

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