27 Aug

The Great Fire of London, 350 commemorations

Great Fire 350 is an umbrella season of events marking the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London.

At the centre of this is London’s Burning, a festival of arts and ideas produced by Artichoke. It is supported by founding sponsor the City of London Corporation and with an award from Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence programme.

What is London’s Burning?

At the centre of the Great Fire 350 commemorations, London’s Burning reimagines the Great Fire of 1666 through the vision of contemporary artists, writers and thinkers. Experience spectacular installations, talks and events from 30 August to 4 September.

You can find all the information here.

03 Oct

Oliver Cromwell’s head

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The posthumous execution

After the restoration of the Stuart monarchy in 1660 under Charles’s son, King Charles II, nine surviving regicides who had participated in the trial and execution of Charles I were tried, convicted and sentenced to be dragged through the streets, hung by the neck and cut down live, disembowelled while alive, beheaded and dismembered.

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In addition, Charles II’s new Parliament ordered the disinterment from Westminster Abbey and theposthumous execution of the deceased regicides Oliver Cromwell, John Bradshaw and Henry Ireton. On the morning of 30 January 1661, the anniversary of the execution of King Charles I, the corpeses were dragged through the streets of London, hung in full public view, beheaded and buried in a common pit.oliver_cromwells_head_005_skull

The heads were placed on a wooden spike on a 6 metres pole, and raised above Westminster Hall. Cromwell’s head remained there until the late 1680s when a storm broke the pole throwing it to the ground. After then, it was in the hands of private collectors and museum owners until 25 March 1960, when it was finally buried at Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge.

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25 Jul

Guildhall, The City Hall of London

Guildhall  Timeline Trip London

Guildhall is the home of the City of London Corporation and has been the centre of the City government since the Middle Ages. “Guild” is said to derive from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning payment, so “guildhall” was probably a place where citizens would pay their taxes.

Guildhall  Timeline Trip London

Built in the site where the largest roman amphitheatre of Britannia used to stand (the outline of whose arena is marked with a black circle on Guildhall Yard) the current building was completed in 1440. Beneath it lie the largest medieval crypts in London thought to be from the 13th century, so it is likely that an earlier guildhall existed on the same place.

The stone building survived the Great Fire of London but it had to be partially restored with a new flat roof in 1670. In 1866, it was replaced by a more medieval-looking wooden roof that, in 1954 after the Second World War, had to be replaced again. The Great Hall has been the setting for famous state trials, including that of Lady Jane Grey in 1553, and has several monuments to national heroes like the Duke of Wellington, Admiral Lord Nelson or Sir Winston Churchill.

Guildhall  Timeline Trip London

Gudihall today Timeline Trip London

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05 Jul

Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of London

sweeney_todd 01, Timeline Trip London

The demon barber of Fleet Street

According to legend which first appeared in 1846 in a story titled The String of Pearls, Sweeney Todd was a barber believed to have murdered more than 150 of his customers at his barber shop situated at number 186 Fleet Street. Once they were sat in his barber’s chair, he cut his victims throats from ear to ear and dispatched them by pulling a lever which made them fall backward down a revolving trapdoor into the basement of his shop where he stealed all their valuables.

Helped by his lover Mrs Lovett, who ran a pie shop in nearby Bell Yard which was connected to Todd’s barber shop by a secret underground passage, she assisted him in disposing of the bodies by baking their flesh into meat pies and selling them to the unsuspecting customers of her pie shop.

A String of Pearls or The Friend of Fleet Street (1847), Britannia, Hoxton.  Sweeney Toddsweeney_todd 01, Timeline Trip London sweeney_todd_fleet_street_19th_century, A String of Pearls or The Friend of Fleet Street (1847), Britannia, Hoxton.  Sweeney Toddsweeney_todd 01, Timeline Trip London

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