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From Roman York to Roman London

The Roman Wall at Tower Hill

I had a meeting this morning at a hotel very close to Tower Hill tube station in London. The trains worked fairly smoothly for once, and I got to Tower Hill with plenty of time before I had to go to the meeting. I sussed out where the hotel was, and it was literally two minutes walk from the tube station. I knew that somewhere in the vicinity was quite a large section of the original Roman city wall, which has somehow survived to a height of several metres. It seemed a shame to walk on by when I had some time in hand, so I decided to go looking for it before I went to my meeting.

I found it, took some photos of the wall with the Tower of London in the background, and was just standing there soaking up the history for a moment when I heard a voice say “Hello Gillian, you’re looking lost! Are you going to the meeting?” It was an ex-colleague of mine, whom I see regularly at meetings of this particular interest group.

I said that no, actually, I wasn’t lost. I knew exactly where I was, which was next to a nearly 2000 year old chunk of Roman Wall. He however was clearly looking for the hotel, rather than a historic monument, and had been walking in completely the wrong direction whilst staring in confusion at the map on his smartphone. I pointed him in the correct direction, told him how to find the hotel, and said I’d be along in a moment, once I’d had a proper look at the rubble!