All posts by Class of 2014/15

The Bishop of Winchester’s Medieval Palace

In the twelfth century the Bishop of Winchester was one of the most important men in the country. Traditionally the town of Winchester had been the site of the royal treasury, and the Bishop was usually entrusted with the job of royal treasurer. As such, he would have held considerable power and influence within the country. He would also have needed to visit the King and attend him at court frequently, which meant he required a residence in London which was fit for his station. This need precipitated the building of the Bishop of Winchester’s Palace in Southwark.

An artist’s impression of the Medieval building

Dated to 1136, the building was originally a lavish complex centred around two courtyards. The Palace also had gardens, a tennis court and bowling alley, a prison, a brewery, a butchery and direct access to the river from the large cellar under the Great Hall. What remains standing today is little more than one wall of the originally impressive Great Hall. The most striking feature of the ruin we have left today is the large rose window near the top of the wall. This was most likely not included in the original construction of the building, but was instead added in the fourteenth century during the expansion of the Hall carried out by the Bishop William of Wykeham.

The Palace was frequently used by the Bishop for many centuries, and was one of many similar residences in London that were the private homes of important churchmen. Lambeth Palace, for example, served as the London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury. However, with the diminishment of the Bishops of Winchester’s importance in the seventeenth century, the Palace was no longer maintained for his sole use and was divided into tenements. The building was then mostly destroyed by fire in 1814, and further damage was dealt by bombing during World War Two. What little can be seen of the Palace today was uncovered during the course of redevelopment of the site in the twentieth century.

View of the modern day site

The Bishop of Winchester’s Palace was not actually in the City of London itself in the medieval period. At that point what was considered the City – and the area subject to its jurisdiction – was only the land that was actually within the walls of London. Therefore the Palace was in fact outside the city, and was in Surrey, which was the largest manor owned by the diocese of Winchester. This separation from the City, and more importantly its jurisdiction, allowed activities such as gambling and businesses like brothels and theatres to operate unhindered in Southwark, where in the City they would be illegal or heavily regulated. The Bishop of Winchester in fact took part in overseeing some of this trade, taking rent from brothels and generally ensuring things didn’t get too out of hand. The area became known as the Clink Liberty, the name coming from the notorious Clink prison which was in the same area. This also led to the expression ‘to be in the clink’, or in prison, which is still in use to this day.

A Medieval map of the area

By Morghan Williams and Libby Keir


Public Houses of Medieval Southwark

Before the fifteenth century, public dining was an unusual sight in the City of London. Meals were devoured in the home. But, slowly, a public sphere developed, particularly in Southwark, where inns and public houses would become the pleasure ground of Londoners and outsiders. Inns started popping up in London in the late fourteenth century, converted from the empty properties that were a consequence of the Black Death. Inns provided meals for passing travellers, as well as lodging and stables. In 1381, 22 new inns had established themselves in Southwark.

The George Inn – One of the oldest surviving inns in Southwark. The original medieval building was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in the seventeenth century. However, it remains the best visual source in to the aesthetics of a medieval inn.

The meals provided by the inns primarily consisted of bread, meat, and ale or beer. It was not until the end of the century that more elaborate meals were offered. The sixteenth century added a new addition to the menu with the introduction of the “ordinary” meal. Martha Carlin argues that this might have sprung up due to price regulations, to enable prices that the urban poor could afford. An example of such a meal comes from York in 1562, where a supper was a boiled meal or a roast, along with bread, and ale or beer, for four pennies. This illustrates how the inns broke down spatial barriers between travellers and locals, men and women, and higher and lower social groups.

London inns also served as theatre venues. As Laurence Manley notes, inns had less regulations than taverns. Providing lodging allowed inns to remain open after the 9-10 p.m. curfew that taverns were bound to. One example of these theatres in Southwark is the Rose, established in 1587, but the earliest evidence of performances at London inns is 1557. This was not particularly popular amongst London authorities, who took extensive measures to counteract them through municipal proclamations. The aldermen complained in 1588 that Southwark had ‘so many evil disposed and licentious persons as not only fill their own liberties with all kind of disorder but send their infection into the city’.

Anything could occur within the inns of Southwark, as it lay outside of the jurisdiction of the City of London. Disorderly behaviour, prostitution, and as mentioned theatricals among other issues were rife. The condition of Southwark become so much of a concern that in 1327, King Edward III granted a charter, declaring that the ‘Bailiwick of Southwark’, would now be subject to the authority and laws of the City of London. However, the extent to which the charter was a success in curbing the social issues occurring in Southwark is arguably small.

The George Inn, is also the only surviving galleried inn. The gallery would have been used for theatre productions.

Geoffrey Chaucer wrote of the huge social diversity of public houses in the Canterbury Tales. Hanawalt expanded on the observations of Chaucer, analysing further the contrasts to medieval society that occurred within public houses, describing them as the ‘most complex institutions of medieval social life’.  The public house was a very domestic sphere. The notion of inviting a person in to a space and then playing host was, prior to the medieval period considered an act which would occur at a person’s private residence and interactions in hospitality were the role of women. The spaces used within public houses were also considered domesticated, as guests frequented the living areas, halls, and bedrooms of the building. These too were considered feminine rooms within medieval society.

This demonstrates a break down between the roles and norms of men and women within the establishments; but also, a break down in the image of women in general that did not occur outside of the public houses, and remained in contradiction to the norms of medieval society. Women, as observed by Chaucer also frequented the establishments and even further still, completely unaccompanied. The public houses allowed for freedom, which was primarily the reason Southwark was considered problematic within and even after the medieval period. The diversity made social control extremely difficult.

The establishment of public houses in Southwark had a lasting effect on society. Southwark was considered a problematic area to at least the Tudor period. In addition to this, public houses lasted as a sphere free from social norms even into today’s society. Whether alcohol is the attraction or it in the social freedom that can occur within the establishments; public houses remain the second living room of London.

By Aprilia Kemp and Siri Christiansen


Barbara A. Hanawalt, ‘The Host, the Law, and the Ambiguous Space of Medieval London Taverns’, ‘Of Good and Ill Repute’: Gender and Social Control in Medieval England, ed. By Barbara A. Hanawalt, (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998).

Ian W. Archer, ‘Government in Early Modern London: The Challenge of the Suburbs’, Proceedings of the British Academy, 107 (2001).

John Noorthouck, ‘Appendix: Charter (Edward I to Edward IV)’,  A New History of London Including Westminster and Southwark (London, 1773). British History Online [accessed 28 March 2017].

Lawrence Manley, ‘Why Did London Inns Function as Theatres?’, Huntington Library Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (March 2008).

Martha Carlin, ‘What say you to a piece of beef and mustard?’: The Evolution of Public Dining in Medieval and Tudor London’, in Huntington Library Quarterly, 71:1 (2008).

‘The borough of Southwark: Introduction’,  A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4, ed. H E Malden (London, 1912). British History Online [accessed 28 March 2017].

The London Wall


The London Wall was initially created by the Romans to defend their city of Londinium between 190 and 225 AD. This was the first stone fortification around the city. It surrounded the city on all four sides, including the side along the river, and had only 4 gates serving as thoroughfares, making the city a sort of fortress.

As time progressed, the wall changed, bastions and turrets to hold catapults were added, the wall along the Thames disappeared. The wall was incorporated into defenses, and ultimately, buildings were built up around it throughout the middle ages and after to cause the wall to practically disappear. That is why it is only visible in fragments today.


The initial purpose of the wall was that of defence. From the seventh to ninth century, most of London was located outside of the initial walls. When vikings became a threat, citizens moved back within the walls which had been augmented with towers for archers to perch and guard the city. Citizens were kept safe by a curfew and 24 hour guards around the wall. The defensive strength of the wall was increased by the fact that the outside of the wall was surrounded by a massive ditch on three sides, and the river on another, providing yet another layer of protection to the city. Though the wall was standing long before Medieval London existed, it played a prominent purpose in the planning of the city during the Norman Conquest of 1066. It was incorporated into the main defences of the city as the city was restructured. The last time the wall surrendered to force was Alfred the Great’s invasion of 886. Additionally, the wall also protected outer London from being affected by the Great Fire of 1666.

Social Significance:

The London Wall was also a symbol for division between medieval society. Not only did the wall serve to deter physical threats, but also separated members of society into “insiders” and “outsiders”. This lead to the marginalisation of those situated outside the wall (E.g. Southwark), labelling them as outcasts.

This is described by Rexroth, who notes that “locals who could not feed themselves and those inhabitants who barely subsisted in their own households…could hope hope for assistance, whereas beggars from outside the city, or those who were of sound body or who merely feigned infirmities, were to be expelled as quickly as possible.” (Rexroth, 8). This social disparity is also seen in the preserving of the walls, which was of enormous important to medieval Londoners. At each gate, a toll was paid and a rent was charged for leasing out the gatehouses and towers to hermits, anchorites, and city officials. Each London citizen had to pay “murage,” or a tax for the upkeep of the walls. Hence, the poor were unable to fulfill ‘city’ requirements.

The social functions of the wall also extended to political matters, as jurisdiction within the walls often varied from outside, signifying further division and an increasing level of complexity in medieval society. Thus, the somewhat elitist nature of a socially and economically thriving London is reaffirmed in the purpose/result of the London Wall.

Week 9 – 10/3/17
Elana Medlicott and Marisa Hopwood


Rexroth, Frank. Deviance and Power in Late Medieval London, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK; New York; 2007.

The Savoy Palace

The Savoy

In 1246, Henry III gave a piece of land to Peter of Savoy, the Earl of Richmond, to build a house: an English home. In 1263, he built Savoy Palace. The Palace was on the Strand, the strip of land between London and Westminster, which at the time were separate cities. It was one of the most desirable locations in England, and of all the big nice houses surrounding, the Savoy, bought and developed by the house of Lancaster through the fourteenth century, was for a long time the biggest and the nicest (C. Barron, ‘The Later Middle Ages: 1270–1520’, The City of London from Prehistoric Times to c. 1520, ed. Mary D. Lobel (Oxford, 1989), p. 52)).

No contemporary view of the palace exists, but there is a general agreement on its magnificence. The structure was probably a courtyard surrounded by domestic buildings, with a chapel and a cloister. Outbuildings included a kitchen and a bakehouse, as well as stables. Overall, the descriptions of the Palace are very pastoral comparative to what is now central London; a lot of the buildings were probably thatched, as this was standard on the Strand at the time, there was a water-gate and gardens to supply the Duke’s household, as well as a famous rose garden. It was also extremely large, housing up to 150 knights with all their retainers, as well as hundreds of servants, clergy and financial clerks, including at one stage Geoffrey Chaucer, who began writing the Canterbury Tales while working there (L.W. Cowrie, ‘The Savoy: Palace and Hospital’, History Today, 24.3 (1974), p. 173).

John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, was the last owner of the Savoy palace. John of Gaunt, depicted to the left, was one of the richest and most powerful people during his time, being the son of King Edward III.  He served as the nation’s power broker and was hated by the local peasants for his greed and perceived influence in the poll tax which charged peasants in order to support the war effort.  In anger and disparity, a large group of peasants, led by Wat Tyler, started the peasant’s revolt.  Their first act once they reached London was to make for the Savoy; which at the time was stated to have no equal in beauty and magnificence.  An account notes that the peasants ‘tore to pieces cloth of gold and silver and rich tapestries, broke up the rich furniture, crushed the Duke’s plate, and ground his jewels and precious stones under foot.  All that could not be destroyed was thrown into the river.  When the work of destruction was over the Savoy lay a smouldering ruin’ (S. Armitage Smith, John of Gaunt (London, 1904), p. 247). There was no resistance to the destruction.  Law enforcement and locals stood by in silence.


The land where the Savoy once stood remained unoccupied for hundreds of years until Henry VII founded the Savoy Hospital for poor, needy people.  It opened in 1512, being one of the most impressive hospitals of its time.  A century later much of the structure was destroyed in a fire and was later demolished with the exception of the Savoy Chapel(depicted to the right).  The Savoy’s site is now occupied by the Savoy Hotel, Savoy Theatre, along with the Savoy Buildings and Savoy Place.


By Kate Burgess and Katie Gibbs

Object Handling at the Museum of London 2016

The Museum of London is located in the Barbican, an area that had been rebuilt throughout the 1960s after substantive war damage during World War Two. We were lucky enough to have a curator exclusive to our group who was able to explain the layout of the museum and the reasoning of why it was laid out in this specific way. Although we concentrated on the medieval galleries the museum holds artefacts from the Roman era all the way to present day. The common theme that runs through the gallery is the River Thames and this was evident on the glass panels that had river symbols on it and names of fish that were resident of the Thames.IMG_2692

As this museum is a purpose built building rather than a converted stately home the designers had much more scope to design the museum to best display its artefacts and this is evident in the way the objects are displayed with its special low lighting that preserves the artefacts.

The objects on display varied enormously from decorated pieces of masonry to gaming artefacts such as counters and dice as well as items of clothing such as shoes.

We had the opportunity to have a good look around the medieval gallery and there was a particularly interesting exhibition where in an alcove there was a projection of the records of the names of people on a rolling screen of who had died during the Black death along with their occupation.

Perhaps the most revealing part of the excursion was the object handling. We had the privilege of handling many objects from the medieval era that have been found in London, many found in the river Thames or on sights of historical significance. Looking at many different objects from coins to horse shoes the object that we feel best sums up daily life in London that also allowed us to draw parallels to modern London was the money box. This particular moneybox (see picture) was in remarkable condition and was made from Surrey white ware, which was a cheap and common material in the period. The box itself was generally glazed with a green glaze, known as Tudor green.


Many of these money boxes were found in their place of origin, in and around Surrey, but many were found at places of commerce and trade such as the Globe Theatre. The money box animates medieval London life and highlights how much the London economy was so intertwined with aspects of leisure and everyday life. This can easily be associated with modern London and shows how trade and commerce have always played an important role in the life of Londoners. The money box can be compared to the card machine or the modern bank, an invention that allows people to pay for items, a service or an experience or save money safely by minimising the human interception in the transaction. Like many other exhibits and objects on display at the Museum of London, the money box enables us to relate to the everyday lives of Londoners in the medieval period.

money box 1

Westminster Abbey and Monarchical Power

Westminster Abbey represents monastic history dating back to 960 AD. The Abbey itself was first built by Edward the Confessor in 1065 and was later rebuilt by Henry III in 1245. This history was evident as we entered and stood by the Cloisters, a sunny courtyard around which monks would have walked on day to day business.



Moving on we entered the Nave and the tall vaulted ceiling made evident the importance of this Abbey as a centre of religious and architectural development. Its importance as a centre of royal power was made further evident as we were able to look upon the coronation chair. Edward I built the coronation chair in 1301 to house the Stone of Scone and the chair is reflective of the history of royal coronations dating back to William the Conqueror.


Moving through the Nave, we were able to view the grave of the unknown soldier, one of a selection of memorials to soldiers from the two world wars. In front of us were two impressive altars, of which the high altar was particularly interesting. This altar was concealed from the masses as they were not supposed to see the transubstantiation

We then entered the Lady Chapel and it was difficult not to miss the impressive ceiling. Known as the pendant Fan Vault, this beautiful structure was known as the climax of English medieval vault design and was one example of the grand and decorative gothic style which began to emerge in the medieval period. This was not the original Lady Chapel however. In 1220 Henry III lay the foundation stone of the old Lady Chapel which became a famous musical institution. This was demolished in 1502 when Henry VII put forward plans for a new Lady Chapel.

Despite the gothic architecture, there were still remnants of the old Romanesque architectural influences. We entered the Romanesque chapel contrasting its dark and compact atmosphere with the open nature of the nave.


The central point of the Abbey is the Shrine of Edward the Confessor, around which we sat and listened to a prayer. The tombs size and opulence made clear the importance of Edward as the patron saint of the Abbey. Later kings attempted to be buried as close to Edward as possible, further emphasising his central importance to the Abbey.



Poets’ corner was a place of interest, an area dedicated to some of the greatest British writers with memorials and busts and their burial places. We passed this area on the way to chapter house, an octagonal room in which Monks would meet daily to read a chapter from the rule of St. Benedict. The room was decorated from scenes of the revelation, an apocalyptic story of the bible. This was a feature that would have been noticeable prior to reformation, as much of the Abbey was decorated in a similar manner.

The Black Death


This past week’s excursion took the class around the areas of Medieval London that had particular relevance to the Black Death. Our purpose was to understand the impact that they had on London during the plague. The first stop on our tour was the Royal Mint, which was built on Saint Mary Graces. St. Mary Graces was a Cistercian abbey built between 1350-1539; however, prior to being built, the primary function of the area was the mass burial of Londoners who had fallen victim to the plague. Unfortunately, the Mint has been closed to the public for the last few years, so we were unable to access the excavation site of St. Mary Graces. However, it is quite fitting to find the Royal Mint closed, because throughout history the land has repeatedly been left unused and reused. There were several efforts to build on the land as an abbey, then a manor, and then eventually as a Royal Navy Yard. Finally, the Mint that occupies the site today was built. Over time, all have failed to remain open and conducive to London and its citizens.


Our next stop was a section of the Medieval wall of London, the wall stands in complete contrast to the predominantly modern surroundings.


London’s street names provide a link back to its medieval history. Streets such as Crutched Friars, which we passed during our walk, refer to old church orders. Even if the street has been completely rebuilt, history is very slow to change. 


St. Helen’s medieval church in Bishopsgate was out next stop. Although the church dates back to the 12th century, its structure has been continuously restored with a number of materials. A rather subtle contrast between old and new, which the picture suggests.


Our last stop was the Guildhall. Guildhall was a place for business, trade and housed authority. ‘Guild’ primarily means to pay, yield or produce, London Guilds were essentially trade associations and were highly influential.  Eventually, the Guildhall rose in prestige and prominence to serve as early Medieval London’s town hall. 


Addressing women’s involvement in guilds was a particularly relevant theme of our excursion. This was reflected in the primary documents and manuscripts that we addressed inside the Guildhall. One document was the transfer of property from daughter to mother during the highpoint of the plague. The fact that a letter was written to document the exchange of land suggests that law and order was still followed during the time of the plague. This shows that despite the impact of the plague, society still was able to function normally. Another manuscript that we looked at was a historical record of a guild that spanned decades over time. Most interestingly was the change of language, from French and Latin to English as the book pages and date progressed. It was a fascinating example of the transformation of language in London.

Overall, the excursion was an interesting way to fully experience London and see its growth from the Medieval era to the modern. The similarities and contrasts between the past and present allow us to see London’s history as a whole.

1381 Revolt

While very few medieval London buildings exist today, much of the layout and streets still remain along with rebuilt churches. On the afternoon of June 13th 1381, the rebels from Southwark and Kent gathered at the south end of the London Bridge, the only passage into London at the time. The old bridge was slightly east of the modern day bridge and aligned with the St Magnus church, which still stands today. People that came into London would have walked by the church upon crossing the bridge. As we saw in St Magnus, the old bridge also contained many shops and the St Thomas Becket chapel. The many religious buildings demonstrated the power of the church at the time, explaining the rebels’ decision to execute several archbishops later on. After threatening and forcing the keepers to lower the bridge, they crossed into London and began heading toward the Savoy Palace.

LondonStoneAfter crossing the London Bridge and visiting St Magnus Church, we began to make our way northwest toward St Mary-le-bow Church. The first landmark we came upon was the Monument to the Great Fire of London itself, which was built in the same spot where St. Margarets Fish Street Hill had been located as that was the first church to burn down during the fire. From the Monument we continued on our path and took a quick stop at a local WH Smith shop. Surprisingly, this little store holds one of the oldest pieces of surviving London history: the London Stone. No one is entirely sure what the stone was originally used for, but it has been around for almost 1000 years and is one of London’s great treasures and mysteries.

Carrying on our journey, we headed towards St Paul’s Cathedral, stopping to see an old narrow medieval street, now a shopping alley, as an example of the historical surroundings the peasants would have travelled through.


Due to adverse weather conditions we were unable to visit the Tower of London on this day, but when faced with the Tower itself, it is easy to imagine the intimidating icon it once was in medieval London. Once we reached the Cathedral, we considered how information was shared during the time of the revolt; there were no nationalised newspapers or magazines; information was spread through word of mouth. Though this seems like a rather slow form of communication from a modern perspective, the extent of the Revolt of 1381 is proof as to its effectiveness during this period.



Our final destination was the location of the original Savoy Palace. After walking along the Strand, which was historically a very desirable location for nobility and currently remains a site of luxury hotels and notable buildings, we came across the Savoy Hotel. An impressive display of gold, mirrors, and historical plaques lined the entranceway to the Hotel. During the 1381 revolt, the Palace was destroyed by the rebels; years later, the Savoy Hospital took its place, and after that was burned down, the Savoy Hotel was built many years later. The Savoy Chapel exists right next to the Savoy Hotel; unfortunately, the gate to the Savoy chapel was closed, so we were not able to venture in.


Our trip to the London Wall

After our visit to the London museum, we took a short walk over the bridge to look at small section of the London Wall that is still standing today, which lay at the junction of Aldersgate Street. Here we gathered alongside the barriers, often having to huddle together to allow city workers past, and discussed the history and purpose of the wall.

The wall was built in around 200AD by the Romans and slowly developed in size and structure over the centuries. What was interesting though is that there is no clear reason or agenda for the construction of the wall. Many believe that the construction of the wall was an attempt to protect the city against invasion in the 180’s, while other believe it was erected as a result of a power struggle between two hungry leaders, Septimius Severus and Clodius Albinus. The London Wall was one of the largest construction projects carried out in Roman Britain. The wall was constructed largely from Kentish ragstone brought by water from Maidstone. It has been calculated that some 1,300 barge journeys would have been required to transport the 85,000 tons of stone from Kent. In the late third century, Londinium was raided on several occasions by Saxon pirates. This led, from around 280 onwards, to the construction of an additional riverside wall. In later years the wall was redeveloped in the medieval period with the addition of crenulations (small dips in the wall, which can be seen in the picture on the right) more gates and further wall

There are pieces of the London Wall scattered around London today, although many parts were destroyed by the Blitz and by demolition of part of the wall in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today fragments of the wall are buried under shops and warehouses. The only remaining standing segments of the wall can be seen in the grounds of the Museum of London, in the Barbican Estate and around Tower Hill

The particular section of the wall we visited on the trip was part of the remains near the Museum of London, which can be seen on the right. Although this section is not in the best london wall 1of conditions, it was still possible to see how the wall had changed over time. We could see the addition of the medieval crenulations and the small openings, almost like windows in the wall.

Overall, the group really enjoyed the trip especially combined with the visit the London museum earlier on in the day. It gave us all the opportunity to understand how the people who lived within the walls of London on their day to day lives and allowed us to see some of the objects they may have come into contact with.

The Museum of London and Object-Handling

The Museum of London

We visited the Museum of London and saw many fascinating and precious objects from medieval London, such as part of the Eleanor Crosses. The museum is located on the London Wall, close to the Barbican Centre and is a part of the Barbican complex, a collection of buildings created in the 1960s and 1970s as a way of re-developing the bomb damaged area of the City of London. It overlooks the remains of the Roman city wall on the edge of the oldest part of London, now its financial district, and is jointly controlled and funded by the City of London Corporation and the Greater London Authority. The Museum of London is primarily concerned with the social history of London and its inhabitants throughout time and documents this from prehistoric to modern times in several galleries (e.g. London before London (London 450,000 BC to AD 50), Roman London (AD 50-410), Medieval London (410 to 1558), War, Plague and Fire (1550s-1660s) Expanding City: 1666-1850s, People’s City: 1850s-1940s, World City: 1950-today, The City Gallery, The London 2012 Cauldron: (designing a moment).

The museum can be seen as reminiscent of London as a city of layers because it is a result of the continued rebuilding of London. Moreover with regards to archaeological digs, the museum can only dig at sites which are being developed, e.g. in the City of London, Crossrail. This makes the areas in which it carries out activities somewhat random in nature, however this has not dented the work of the museum.  Artefacts that are discovered are therefore not always from places which were significant to Londoners, however with this being said, the museum has managed to unearth invaluable information and objects from London’s past.

P1000299 P1000300

The Museum of London has around 12,000 items dating from the medieval period, and we were fortunate enough to be able hold some of these objects on our trip. The medieval collection is most well-known for containing a large quantity of arms and armour, however this is not necessarily armour of the highest quality, but mostly everyday civilian weapons such as the dagger and chainmail that we were able to hold. Throughout the last thirty years, the museum has acquired additions of small pieces of metalwork from the Thames ‘mudlarks’, another name for its metal detectorists. Some of these discovered artefacts, including brooches and belt fittings help to paint the image of a dweller of medieval London. Another artefact we were able to hold included a floor tile, part of the collection of ceramics and floor tiles, and the majority of these came from Buckinghamshire from around the 1330’s to the 1380’s.

Other famous collections from the Museum of London include the dress and textiles   collection, and the Tudor and Stuart Collection. The dress and textiles collection boasts over 24,000 objects, dating from the Tudor era to the modern day, as well as a Henry Matthews Collection of clothing prints dating from the sixteenth century. The Tudor and Stuart Collection contains objects from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and holds over 1500 pieces of cutlery, as well as a collection of edged weaponry manufactured by the Hounslow Sword Factory. There are also dresses, accessories and toys, as well as watches and ceramics that are on display in this collection.


There are a variety of collections available at the Museum of London, but nothing compares with being able to hold medieval artifacts and looking back at their history!