London is one of the oldest cities in the world. It’s no surprise that many of its buildings are equally as ancient. For example, The Royal Foundation of St Katharine was built in 1108. This makes it one of the oldest buildings in London. In this article, we will tell you how to visit the oldest London possible!
The Royal Foundation of St Katharine, East Smithfield
St Katharine’s was founded in the 13th century and is located in East Smithfield, a short distance from the Tower of London. It was once home to the Royal Mint and is also known as “The Mint” or “The Old Mint”.
It was initially a monastery but later became an almshouse for poor women and children. In 1430 King Henry VI gave it to his wife as an anniversary present. She then established it as a hospital for women with nowhere else to go, giving birth there if necessary. The hospital provided medical care and shelter for those who couldn’t afford their doctors or were sicker than other hospitals were willing to take on at that time. If you like the “visit the oldest London” idea, this building is the one you can’t miss.
St Dunstan-in-the-East, Tower Hill
St Dunstan-in-the-East is a church in the City of London, located on the east side of Tower Hill, next to the Tower of London. The church was founded in 925 and destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. Sir Christopher Wren rebuilt it. In 1967 the City of London made a decision to turn the remains into a public garden, which opened in 1970.
The National Trust’s Sutton House & Brea House, Hackney
If you’re a fan of Tudor architecture, Sutton House is the building for you. It’s a former manor house in Homerton, Hackney. It was built in 1535 and is now owned by the National Trust. The timber-framed building is London’s only surviving example of this type of architecture, and it has been listed as Grade I since 1954. It was built by Sir Ralph Sadler, who served Henry VIII as Treasurer of Calais from 1524 until he died in 1552; he lived there with his wife Elizabeth Mason until they died in 1540/41 and 1545, respectively.
Roman amphitheater, Guildhall
The Roman amphitheater at Guildhall is the oldest surviving building in London. So, if you want to visit the oldest London, this is the oldest thing you can actually see! The theater was built in AD 70 and can be found at the center of the Guildhall complex. This complex is also home to many historical buildings, including St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.
Built for public entertainments like gladiator fights and animal hunts, it was abandoned after two centuries of use when the Romans left Britain in 410 AD. It’s been closed off since then—which means that you can’t physically walk inside it—but it’s open to the public via tours from April through October each year!
The George Inn, Southwark
The George Inn is the oldest pub in London, dating back to the 16th century. It was established as a coaching inn on Borough High Street, Southwark, at the junction with Tabard Street (then called Turnagain Lane).
The present building dated from 1787–1789 and was built by George Clarke, who also constructed other local public houses such as The Adelphi Tavern and The Hope & Anchor. The sign has been located above the entrance since at least 1590. It was previously known as “George & Dragon” but changed its name to “George & Dragon” after a fire destroyed most of its interior on 26 February 1867.
A local history society called Southwark Local History Society holds regular meetings here every month where they talk about all things related to this area of London.
Temple Church, the Inns of Court
Temple Church, located in the Inner Temple area of London, England, was built in the 12th century. The church was consecrated in 1185 and is dedicated to the Knights Templar. The church was originally built on an ancient site that served as a place of worship for hundreds of years before the Knights Templar arrived and made it their own.
The Monument to the Great Fire of London, Monument Street/Fish Street Hill
The Monument to the Great Fire of London is a tall stone Roman Doric column in the City of London. It was built between 1671 and 1677 to commemorate the devastating fire that burned through London from September 2–6, 1666. Christopher Wren designed the structure with Robert Hooke as an assistant. They later built it on what was then called Pudding Lane, off Fish Street Hill.
At 202 feet (62 m) high, it is one of the tallest isolated stone columns in Europe. Only Lisbon’s Torre de Belém (162 feet/49 m) and Brussels’ Flagellation Column (157 feet/48 m), also designed by Wren as part of an ensemble together with his Baroque masterpiece Church of Our Lady, have higher free-standing heights among European buildings. The ground floor of its base houses a public toilet facility known as “The Witchels”. The name comes from the family who used to live there during Victorian times.
London has a rich history, and many buildings are hundreds of years old. It’s great to know that you can still see these historic landmarks today. Even if they’re hidden somewhere in a corner. Next time in the UK be sure to visit the oldest London available by checking out these landmarks!