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Tudor London

About Tudor London



London under the Tudors was a prosperous, bustling city. It was the largest city in Western Europe during the time of the Tudor monarchs. When Henry VII took the throne in 1485, the city of London had a population of about 75,000. By 1600 that figure had risen to 200,000.

Tudor London Timeline



The Tudor London was a city of contrasts. Fashionable houses of wealthy merchants and shops sold their expensive wares on the old London Bridge. But Bridge Gate, rotting heads of men beheaded for treason and similar crimes were displayed in full public view. Tudor London was like modern Venice with all the major institutions accessible by water and people preferred traveling by boat through the River Thames. The city was full of small, narrow and crowded streets and traveling along them was dangerous, especially if one had money. Although dirty and potentially dangerous, it still attracted people from all over who wanted to find their fame and especially their fortune there.

Hunting was a royal pastime during the Tudor period and many areas that are now London parks were used as Royal hunting forests during the Tudor period. Richmond Park, Hyde Park, Regent's Park, and St. James Park all served as royal hunting forests during this period.

Henry VIII made Whitehall Palace the principle royal residence in the city. A host of other buildings were also constructed during this period to contribute to Londonís ascent as a city of importance. This period also witnessed Henry's Dissolution of the Monasteries. A drive which resulted in the pulling down of 13 religious houses in London which were either converted for private use or pulled down for building materials. However it is not easy to get a real sense of what the city was like at that time because, unfortunately, many of London's Tudor buildings were destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. Thomas Gresham, in 1566, also founded an international exchange in London. This was to aid Londonís battle for supremacy with Amsterdam as a financial power.

500 years since Henry VIII's accession to the throne, history lovers can take a tour of the following buildings and sights that helped shape Tudor London:

  1. Hampton Court Palace
  2. Tower of London
  3. Westminster Abbey
  4. The Medieval Banquet
  5. Lambeth Palace
  6. Palaces of St James's
  7. Queen Elizabethís Hunting Lodge
  8. Shervingtons
  9. The Golden Hinde
  10. Thames River Trip




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