Roman Londinium

thelegendsoflondonLondon, as a settlement, began in the middle of the first century AD when the Roman Emperor Claudius invaded. The settlement grew rapidly during the Roman occupation and it was known as Londinium. Although not important politically, it flourished as a major port due to its ideal location in relation to the river and of course the European continent. All main Roman roads converged on London and mileage and distances were all measured from London radiating outwards, and mostly north into the country.

By the end of the third century Londinium had become the centre of Roman administration and a prosperous walled city with a fort, a large temple, a basilica and a governor’s palace. The fortified city wall around the city can still be traced in fragments – it roughly corresponds with a square mile, which is what the financial centre of London, or the City of London, is known as today – The Square Mile.


Place Names in London

Acton – farmstead by the oaks

Barnet – land cleared by burning

Dulwich – marshy meadow where dill grows

Fulham – Fulla’s land in a river bed

Greenwich – green harbour

Hammersmith – palce with a hammer smithy

Kensal Green – place by the king’s wood

Lambeth – landing place for lambs

Mayfair – place of the May Fair held in the 17th and 18th centuries

Neasden – place by the nose-shaped hill

Putney – landing place where hawks are seen

Roehampton – home farm where rooks are seen

Spitalfields – hospital fields

Upminster – higher church

Vauxhall – Falke’s hall or manor

Walthamstow – place where guests are welcome


And London?  Two suggestions:

1. The city was named after King Lud (first king of London)

2.  The name London was taken from the Roman name Londinium

But of course, there are many other suggestions – we will never really know I guess!