Walking London’s Roman Wall

London Wall Walk following the route of the Wall around Roman Londinium

The wall around the Roman city of London, Londinium, was built in around the year 200AD using Kentish ragstone quaried near Maidstone and most likely transported by boat along the Medway. It ran for 2 miles at 20 feet high from Tower Hill in the East to Moorgate in the North and then close to the River Fleet in the West where there was a gate leading to the river. It’s not known why the wall was built. One theory posits it could have been as a response to the threat of civil war between Clodius Albinus, governor of Britain who claimed the role of Emperor, and Septimus Severus who was proclaimed Emperor. London stayed within these walls for over a thousand years and didn’t expand until the Tudor period. To this day it still largely defines the City of London.

Our walk starts at Tower Hill near the Tower of London with one of the most impressive and imposing sections of the Roman Wall. The bottom four metres of this wall is still the original Roman structure with the higher levels added in the middle ages. We then go along Coopers Row where we can see the next section of Roman stone work before heading along Vine Street and Jewry Street to Aldgate.

London Roman Wall

London’s Roman Wall at Tower Hill

From here we progress along Houndsditch and Bevis Marks to Bishopsgate, one of the Gates into the Roman City. At Bishopsgate we follow London Wall and see fragments in the old churchyard of St Alphege before passing through the site of Cripplegate into the Barbican. Here we find another section of the Roman wall near St Giles Cripplegate with a medieval tower. We then pass through the Museum of London and see our last fragment of the wall in Noble Street (you can also pick up a great map of Roman London from the Museum shop).

London Wall Walk

Our route takes us down Kind Edward Street to Newgate then along Warwick Lane, which was a mistake as we should have gone to the corner of Newgate and Old Bailey and walked South from here. The London Wall Walk then crosses Ludgate Hill and worked its way down the old lanes to Queen Victoria street not far from where the North bank of the Thames would have been in Roman London.


This walk was filmed on 5th December 2020