1600 years ago, a Roman arena dominated the city of Londinium, where the City Guildhall now stands. Here, Roman Britons could watch the hunting of wild beasts, criminal executions, and bloody gladiatorial combat. Each summer, we recreate this spectacle in the Guildhall yard, on the site of the ancient Roman arena. Watch the film to find out more about London's gory gladiatorial history.
We recreated the glamour and gore of the Roman gladiatorial arena from 25-29 August 2017, with our Gladiator Games festival. Visitors watched a staged performance by a troupe of gladiators, cheered to keep their favourite alive, and enjoyed a festival of Roman culture in the Guildhall Yard.
Ancient DNA: written in bone
Discover how groundbreaking research extracting Ancient DNA from Roman bones reveals the surprising diversity of Londinium.
Excavating Tunnel: The Archaeology of Crossrail
Discover the incredible archaeology of London uncovered during the Crossrail Project, including Roman artefacts and a burial site from the Great Plague of 1665.
Roman rubbish reveals lost Londinium
The Walbrook, one of London's lost rivers, is a time capsule of Roman Londinium and the tools discovered here reveal what life was like for Roman Britons.