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Roman EC3

The Romans founded Londinium in the middle of the first century and in the map below the blue line shows the course of the wall that the Romans built around their City at the end of the 2nd century.

Map of Roman wall

The historic City of London occupies the site today and by the 14th century the City had extended its boundaries beyond the Roman city to Fleet Street in the west and to Finsbury Square in the north.

On the above map, EC3 is the area in the south east corner; the Tower of London is marked in red.

EC3 has some very impressive Roman remains which include:

There is also a plaque marking the site of Aldgate which was one of the gates through which people entered and exited the city. Read More

The Roman Wall

Built of Kentish ragstone, every five to six courses have a layer of red tiles to bond them together. It has been estimated by Museum of London that it took about 1300 barges of stone to build the wall. Earth from the foundation ditch would have been banked against the inner face to act as a rampart. In medieval times (1066 to 1485) the wall was raised by about six metres.

Surviving parts of the Roman wall can be seen at Wakefield Gardens (beside the entrance to Tower Hill underground station) and behind the Leonardo Royal Hotel in Cooper’s Row.

Roman wall Wakefield Gardens

Roman Wall in Wakefiled Gardens

Roman wall Coopers Row

Roman Wall behind Leonardo Royal Hotel

Roman wall Coopers Row

Roman Wall behind Leonardo Royal Hotel

More information about the impressive remains of Roman London and sections of the Roman wall near the entrance to Tower Hill Underground Station can be found on the London Walking Tours website.

There is another impressive section of the Roman wall in Crutched Friars, which will be available to view in the new Roman Wall House building when it is completed.

Roman wall to be on show at Roman Wall (Source Hopkins Architects)

Roman Wall House exhibit

Roman Tessellated Floor

This tiled floor which was uncovered during building work in the 1920s, is visible in the undercroft at the church of All Hallows by the Tower.

Roman tessellated floor

Dated to the late 2nd century, it is identified as the floor of a Roman house that was on the site now occupied by the church.

It is remarkable that this tiling has been here for almost 2,000 years still in the position in which it was first laid. There is another section of tessellated floor in the undercroft but not on its original site.

Billingsgate Roman Bath House

In 1848 the remains of a Roman bath house were discovered at 101 Lower Thames Street. This also dates to the late 2nd century. It is located in the basement of an office building.

Billingsgate Bathouse

See Billingsgate Roman Bathhouse and Spitalfields Life for more information.

Roman Basilica and Forum

Leadenhall Market stands on the site of what was once the Roman basilica and forum. In the basement of a hairdressers on the corner of Gracechurch Street and Leadenhall Market there are the remains of a stone pier that was a base for the basilica and forum. See Spitalfields Life for more information about this site.

Roman Basilica

This was an important and large site in the Roman city of Londinium. The forum was the market place for the city and the basilica was a public building housing the court.

In 1408 the former Lord Mayor Richard ‘Dick’ Whittington acquired the lease of the building, and acquired the site in 1411. It quickly became one of the best places in London to buy meat, game, poultry and fish. He later passed it to the City of London who have been responsible for the market ever since. 

Today, Leadenhall Market continues to provide a wide range of shopping and dining options for visitors.

Leadenhall Market

Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC BY-SA 3.0

There are Roman remains all across the City of London. You can discover the beginnings of the City by underaking a Self-Guided Walk.