Tour 1 - Tower Hill to Barbican
For tour map, click here.
The Tower of London
We begin at the famous "Tower of London". It was founded by William the Conqueror of Normandy in the 11th century. It has served as a royal palace, but is best known as a prison.
Go around Trinity Square past Trinity House. Continue walking back to almost where you started and turn right onto Great Tower Street and continue until you reach Mark Lane. Then turn north and you'll pass the Corn Exchange.
Continue a short way to Crutched Friars (now Hart Street) and turn right. You'll find St. Olave's Church built in 1056. This medieval Anglican church is one of the smallest in the city and one of the few that escaped the Great Fire of London in 1666. Samuel Pepys and his wife are buried here in the nave.
Roman Forum (now known as LeadenHall Market; rebuilt in 1881)
Go back to Mark Lane, turn right and continue north across Fenchurch to Billister Street. Follow to the end and turn left onto Leadenhall. Following the road you'll come to the Roman Forum, a marketplace for vendors of fresh food. Dickens made mention of this market in three of his books: Pickwick Papers, Dombey and Son and Nicholas Nickleby.
St. Peter's Upon Cornhill Church
Continue west to Grace Church Street and turn left on Lombard; continue around turning right on to Birchin Lane. As you go around this square you'll see St. Peter's-upon-Cornhill Church. Dickens described this church's setting in "Our Mutual Friend" as "a paved square court, with a raised bank of earth about breast high, in the middle, enclosed by iron rails."
The Royal Exchange
As you leave Birchin, cross Cornhill to arrive at The Royal Exchange, founded in 1565 by Banker Sir Thomas Gresham as a center of commerce. The site is triangular in shape, formed by the converging of Cornhill and Threadneedle Streets. The Royal Exchange was opened officially by Queen Elizabeth I, who awarded the building its Royal title on January 23, 1571. The original building was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. A second exchange built on the site and designed by Edward Jarman was also destroyed by a fire in January 1838. The third Royal Exchange consists of a four-sided structure surrounding a central courtyard. Designed by Sir William Tite, the building features pediment sculptures by Richard Westmacott Jr. and although opened in October 1844, trading did not begin until January 1845.
The Museum of London
Continue along Gresham Street and turn right onto Aldersgate Street. On your right you'll come to the Museum of London. The museum has a small Dickens exhibit including the chair that Dickens sat in when he wrote "A Tale of Two Cities".
When finished, exit the museum and continue on to the right to Barbican Station where the tour ends.
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