Tudor London in 1520

A detailed street map of the City of London five hundred years ago.

Would today's London be recognisable to the Tudors?

The buildings and streets of medieval London have almost completely disappeared.  The monastic houses were dissolved in the sixteenth century; the Great Fire of 1666 destroyed two thirds of the city; the Roman walls were largely swept away in the eighteenth century; Victorian roads and railways cut swathes through the medieval street plan; and the bombing of the Second World War destroyed most of what had survived the Fire.  Fewer than a dozen medieval buildings are left in the City of London today. 

But medieval London still lurks beneath the surface! This map has been reconstructed by historians who have studied the surviving documents, and by archaeologists who have provided evidence from the medieval remains now buried well below the present street level.

Their painstaking work has made it possible to create this map of the medieval city as it was five hundred years ago in the early years of the sixteenth century when the Scottish poet William Dunbar admired London, and celebrated it as "The Flower of Cities All".

This new edition of the map was published in April 2013 by Old House Books with a new introduction by Prof Caroline Barron (Royal Holloway, University of London) explaining why the city of 2013 is so different to the city of 1520.  The map, (formerly published as The City of London c.1520) was reissued on a larger sheet, with a comprehensive gazetteer of all the streets and buildings shown on the map, and with illustrations of the City's main medieval buildings.

Published April 2013  ISBN 978-1-90840-251-6

The map is now regrettably out of print, and only available second-hand, although a few retailers may still (November 2017) have stocks on their shelves. 

The Historic Towns Trust will reissue the map in 2018 under its own imprint (Town and City Historical Maps), with revisions and updated cartography. Having secured a grant towards its updating, digitising and reformatting, we anticipate that a new and updated edition of the map will be published in spring 2018.

Professors Caroline Barron and Vanessa Harding (both trustees of the Historic Town Trust and authorities on the history of London) have written about the map and the project to revise and update it, as part of the LAMAS Local History Conference, held in November 2016.  The article is available to read by clicking on the link below.



The original version of the map The City of London c.1520 was also published as part of a set of four maps entitled Medieval to Twentieth Century London, presented in a slipcase, charting London's history (with maps of 1666, 1843, and 1902) published by Old House Books.   ISBN 9781873590799. The set of maps is now out of print but appears on second-hand book websites.