Medieval London

London 410 to 1558

Discover the story of London from the collapse of the Roman city in the 400s to the accession of Queen Elizabeth I in 1558.

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During the medieval period the city of London was destroyed by invaders, racked by famine, fire and disease, and torn apart by religious and political controversy. Still it grew to become one of the largest, wealthiest and most important cities in Europe and a place of truly international status.

London's story is illustrated by over 1300 exhibits, which include children's toys, fraudulent dice and a gold crucifix containing what purported to be a fragment of the True Cross. Many items come from recent archaeological digs, where deep waterlogged deposits along the Thames have preserved England's finest surviving collection of medieval leatherwork.

Don't miss:

  • A gold and garnet brooch from the mid 600s, found in a grave in Covent Garden
  • Stunning late 15th century altar paintings believed to have come from a chapel at Westminster Abbey
  • Wince-inducing pointed shoes that were the height of fashion in the 1380s

200 objects, and other information, are online for you to browse at the Medieval London gallery website.