Interestingly enough for this excursion we met at the exact same meeting point of our first one. However, during this trip we would be exploring the area known as Southwark. During the medieval times this area wasn’t actually in the city of London. It was outside of the city, and on the other side of London Bridge. While walking around it was explained that this area housed a large portion of immigrants and those who were not from the city London.
During our walk around Southwark one of the main attractions we saw was The Globe. This was where Shakespeare staged his plays during his career. It was interesting to note that this version of the Globe was built to be almost identical to the original one. As explained, one version of the Globe was completely taken down and moved into storage in one night, because the landlord wanted it to be taken down. Another version had actually burned to the ground because of a cannon used on set malfunctioned. The current Globe was only open for part of the year and getting tickets to shows there was very difficult.
After walking a bit around Southwark, we concluded the excursion with a trip to The George, one of the oldest pubs in London. After Daniel gave a presentation on pubs, Eyal went into greater detail about The George. It attempted to replicate the feel of a real time medieval London pub. One of the key ways this was done was by having the room dimly lit with not much light coming in. Eyal explained that this was how medieval pubs in London looked like. The pubs were typically illuminated by candle light hanging around the walls and The George also had one fireplace which was sadly not lit. It was very interesting to hear that because of the poor lighting back in medieval London, more people relied on their other senses. For example, sight is the only admissible for of evidence in court in todays world, but in medieval London you could convict based on something such as hearing another persons voice.
Fortunately, we had a whole room to ourselves where we sat after ordering our drinks. Many people ended up being confused and kept walking into the room we were sitting thinking this was where they could receive service. Much of our discussion was looking back on our class over the past semester. We pretty much talked about how the class went over all and if it could be improved in any ways. The general consensus was that everyone greatly enjoyed the course, and that excursions were a great way to go see London in a new light. There is much more to the city of London that someone wouldn’t know without studying its medieval past. Even the students that had lived in London for quite some time hadn’t seen some of the things that we went out and did. After finishing our drinks and ending the discussion we had a sad goodbye and that was the end of the awesome London Before the Fire course.