Find Roman Remains in London

By Abi King | England

Nov 12

Photo from central London in the United Kingdom.Looking up at the Willis Building on a day with clear blue skies

The true City of London, or the Square Mile, forms the financial heart and hub of London. It’s a place of steel and glass, of suits and speed and the habit of gambling on the future rather than rambling on about the past. Yet among some stunning new buildings, the decadence of the Victorian era and the legacy of ancient Rome live on.

Photo of crumbling ancient Roman walls right in the centre of London's financial square mile

Roman walls at the base with medieval walls above

Roman Remains in London

Just a few hundred yards from Tower Hill tube station, these former city walls stand outside the Grange City Hotel. Roman walls form the base, with the more uneven section at the top a remnant of the medieval London boundary.

Photo of tiny St Andrew's Church among the gleaming concrete buildings of the City of London

St Andrew Undershaft – Opposite the Gherkin

Next up is the tiny St Andrew Undershaft church, a medieval building that looks decidedly out of place on St Mary Axe, surrounded as it is by some of the City’s most famous modern buildings. Somehow it survived the Great Fire of London, the bombing of the Blitz and enthusiasm of the property developers and now sits snug and smug between the Gherkin, the Willis Building and the Lloyds Building:

The "inside-out" Lloyds Building reflected in the Willis Building, City of London

The “inside-out” Lloyds Building reflected in the Willis Building, City of London

The Gherkin, 30 St Mary Axe, City of London -a modern symbol of London

The Gherkin, 30 St Mary Axe, City of London

Opposite the Gherkin, you can step back to the 1930s with this Art Deco extravaganza:

Photo of Art Deco in the City of London

Art Deco in the City of London

Then, by disappearing down a few side streets, you reach the Victorian Leadenhall Market…

Victorian London: The Leadenhall Market, City of London

Victorian London: The Leadenhall Market, City of London return right back to the present day with the rather eccentric Stirling Building at 1 Poultry Lane:

Photo of the Stirling Building, City of London

Stirling Building, City of London

Yet there’s one building that will, to me at least, forever represent the City of London: St Paul’s Cathedral.

Photo of St Paul's Cathedral, City of London, with a winter's tree, forever London

St Paul’s Cathedral, City of London

A special thanks to Context Travel* for arranging an extremely¬†intelligent guide to show me the secrets of the City of London.¬†Context Travel* arrange scholarly led tours of the world’s greatest cities and you can find out more about them here.


About the Author

Abigail King is a writer and photographer who swapped a career as a doctor for a life on the road. Now published by Lonely Planet, the BBC, CNN, National Geographic Traveler & more, she feels most at home experimenting here: covering unusual journeys, thoughtful travel and luxury on

Amie from Ciao Bambino November 12, 2010

Love looking at these photos together in one post. Fascinating comparison and gorgeous photos. Thanks for sharing!

AdventureRob November 13, 2010

Great pictures, London has so much history. It’s a slow evolving city (compared to a modern Chinese city like Shanghai or Beijing) but I like how it tries not to chuck out the new to make way for the old. I know there is a few big plans in the central area for the next 10 years which will change the skyline a bit.

Anna November 13, 2010

These are great photos, the perspective captures the buildings beautifully.

Caerphilly Girl November 15, 2010

Such tempting photos and information – can’t wait for my next trip to London to explore ! Thanks.

Eurotrip Tips November 16, 2010

Nothing like a sunny day in London to get great pictures :) I loved strolling around the City during the weekend – it was so quiet! No one to be bothered by the tourists.

Angela November 25, 2010

I’ve always considered the City of London not exactly “photogenic”, except for its bridges, but these are truly spot-on shots, you captured well the contrast between old and new!

Abi King December 21, 2010

Glad you all enjoyed the photos. I’m still amazed at how much history has taken place within this particular square mile.

@wftristan June 3, 2011

Nice shots, i worked in the city for many years and used to love to go in on a sunday when it was quite and explore, the book secret london is worth a look as it shows some great places,



    Abi King June 17, 2011

    Thanks for the recommendation – I’ll have to try the book “Secret London”

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