at the Museum of London
Medieval London is the period 410 to 1558 AD and is the time between the coming of the Anglo-Saxons to the beginning of the Tudor period.
The gallery covers some of the major events and influences of the period such as:
- Anglo-Saxons and Viking attacks on Britain and London - A turbulent time of war and invasion and uncertainty
- The Norman Conquest - This was the first time the throne of England was taken by a foreign aristocrat and this had major effects on the English language and our ties to the mainland Europe.
- The poet Chaucer - he famously wrote Canterbury tales which he is best known for and was responsible for establishing English as a major literary language.
- The martyr Thomas Becket - He was the archbishop of Canterbury and was murdered at the alter in Canterbury for his beliefs.
- The rise of medieval crafts and the city guilds - During the medieval period London was largest and most important city in Britain. Guilds are groups of merchants who set up their own groups and who became very powerful in the running of the city. The guilds controlled all of the trade coming in and out of London and also played a major role in civic duties. Eventually the main speaker of the guilds became the first Lord Mayor of London and they still have a role to play in today's London. The museum of London has many of the original items from these medieval guilds such as money chests and seals.
The medieval London galley has many items from day to day life such as items owned by children such as shoes and a leather jerkin (a sort of vest). There are also items that were used for leisure time, which although was rare, shows that they had similar past times to ourselves in the form of games, sport and gambling. Some of these items include:
- Ice Skate
However items from the Saxon period in the museum's collection is rather small in number only (around 700 items of the 12,000 items in the medieval collection). this shows just how few settlements there were in the London area and that their belongings were few.
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