4 capitals of Great Britain — страница 2

  • Просмотров 8307
  • Скачиваний 124
  • Размер файла 35
    Кб

bakeries. London was also an important port with wooden wharves and jetties. Grain and metal were exported and luxury goods were imported. (Things like wine, olive oil, glass, fine pottery, silk and ivory). Rich citizens had baths in their homes but there were several public baths near the city gates. (Romans went to the baths to socialise not just to keep clean). Most people in the town got their water from wells and used cess pools but there were underground drains to remove rainwater. London also had an amphitheatre, which could hold 8,000 people. Here gladiators fought to the death. Cockfighting was also a popular sport. SAXON LONDON (LUNDENWIC) The last Roman soldier left Britain in 407 AD. London was probably abandoned. There may have been a few people living inside the

walls by fishing or farming but London ceased to be a town. But soon it rose again. A new town appeared outside the walls on the site of Covent Garden. It was much smaller than Roman London with perhaps 10,000 inhabitants. In 597 monks from Rome began the task of converting the Saxons to Christianity. In 604 a bishop was appointed for London. By the 640's there was a mint in London making silver coins. In the 670's a Royal document called London 'the place where the ships land'. Early in the 8th century a writer called London 'a trading centre for many nations who visit by land and sea'. Saxon London consisted of many wooden huts with thatched roofs. Slag from metal forges have been found proving there were many blacksmiths at work in the town. Archaeologists have also found

large numbers of loom weights (used in weaving wool) Saxon craftsmen also worked with animal bones making things like combs. The main export from Saxon London was wool, either raw of woven. Imports included wine and luxury foods like grapes and figs. Pottery and millstones were also imported. Slaves were also bought and sold in London. Disaster struck London in 842 when the Danes looted London. They returned in 851 and this time they burned a large part of the town (an easy task when all buildings were of wood). Then the Danes gave up just raiding and turned to conquest. They conquered northern and Eastern England including London. King Alfred the Great totally defeated the Danes in 878 and they split the country between them. The Danes took eastern England including London while

Alfred took the South and West. Despite the peace treaty Alfred's men took London in 886. Alfred repaired the walls of the old Roman town. Until then Londoners lived outside the Roman walls but during Alfred's reign they moved inside the walls for protection. Soon foreign merchants came to live in London. By the 10th century there were wine merchants from France at Vintners Place and German merchants at Dowgate. The Danes returned in 994 but this time the Londoners fought them off. A writer said ' they proceeded to attack the city stoutly and wished to set it on fire but here they suffered more harm and injury than they ever thought any citizen could do them'. 'London Bridge is falling down'...so says the nursery rhyme. This is believed to be derived from an event that took place

in the early 11th century. King Olaf of Norway attacked England but he was unable to sails up the Thames past London Bridge. So he ordered his men to erect wood and wicker canopies over their boats. They then approached London Bridge. Londoners on the bridge threw down missiles but they were unable to stop the Vikings. At that time London Bridge was made of wood. Olaf and his men tied ropes to the wooden struts supporting it. They then rowed away and London Bridge collapsed. Some historians question whether this event really happened or whether it was just a legend that grew up around King (later Saint) Olaf. Edward the Confessor (1042-1066) built a wooden palace at Westminster. Later Parliament met here. Because of this Westminster became the seat of government not the city of

London itself. Edward also built Westminster Abbey, which was consecrated a few weeks before his death. LONDON IN THE MIDDLE AGES After the battle of Hastings an advance guard of Normans approached London Bridge from the South but were beaten off. The Norman army then marched in a loop to the west of London to cut it off from the rest of the country. William occupied the royal palace at Westminster and the won over the Londoners by making various promises. William was crowned king of England at Westminster on 25 December 1066. William gave London a charter, a document confirming certain rights. Nevertheless he built a wooden tower to stand guard over London. It was replaced by a stone tower in 1078-1100. That was the beginning of the Tower of London. The population of London at