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Monday, 15 February 2016



London was founded by the Romans after the invasion of 43 AD and called Londinium. It lasted less than 20 years when when the Iceni tribe led by Queen Boadicea stormed the city burning it to the ground.

The next incarnation of Londinium superseded Colchester as the capital of the Roman province of Britannia in 100. At its height in the second century, Roman London had a population of around 60,000.

In 886 Alfred the Great recaptured London, which had fallen into disrepair after repeated Viking assaults and rebuilt and populated the former fortified Roman city. After his retaking of London, Alfred the Great  switched his capital to it from Winchester, noting it's potential as a defensive town on the Thames.

On Friday October 17, 1091, a tornado struck London, killing two people and demolishing the wooden London Bridge.

The most severe of several early fires of London burnt most of the city to the ground on July 10, 1212. The fire started south of the Thames, in Southwark. The blaze reached London Bridge where the wooden buildings built on top caught fire as well trapping southerner.people fleeing northwards from Southwark. 3,000 died that day on London Bridge, caught in the inferno or drowned in the river.

The City of London and City of Westminster were separated until the 16th century when the fields between them started to be built on.

Fear of fire, plague and unruly mobs gave rise to a 1580 Royal Proclamation forbidding all new building in London within three miles of the city gates. Few builders took any notice.

In 1630 Inigo Jones introduced town planning to London when he designed the city's first square, Covent Garden.

The Great Fire of London (see below) broke out in 1666. It burned for three days, destroying 10,000 buildings including St Paul's Cathedral. Only six people were known to have died but many more unrecorded poor people must have lost their loves to the flames or smoke.

After the 1666 Great Fire of London speculators began building terraced houses for the new professional classes in areas such as Bloomsbury.

London became the first city in the modern world to reach a population of more than one million in 1811.

London’s first railway station opened in Euston Grove on May 20, 1837 as the terminus of the London and Birmingham Railway (L&BR). The station was named after Euston Hall in Suffolk, the ancestral home of the Dukes of Grafton, the main landowners in the area.

An early print of Euston showing the wrought iron roof of 1837.

The Great Stink was an event in central London in July and August 1858 during which the hot weather exacerbated the smell of untreated sewage and industrial effluent in the River Thames. At the Houses of Parliament, curtains were soaked in chloride of lime to suppress the ‘noxious stench’ and the idea was mooted of moving MPs to Oxford or St Albans.

London was the first city in the world to have an underground subway system. The Metropolitan underground railway opened in January 1863 between Paddington and Farringdon using gas-lit wooden carriages hauled by steam locomotives.

The Metropolitan Railway opened using GWR broad gauge locomotives
The 1908 Olympic Games were planned for Rome, had to be moved to London following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1906, as the Italian government had to fund disaster relief.

On December 29, 1940, the Luftwaffe fire-bombed the British capital, dropping more than 24,000 high explosive bombs and 100,000 incendiary bombs. It was the largest continuous area of Blitz destruction anywhere in Britain. Almost 200 people were killed in what became known as the Second Great Fire of London.

When the London Eye opened to the general public on March 9, 2000, it was granted planning permission for only five years, but in 2003 it was extended for at least another 24 years.

With a height of 135 metres (443ft), the London Eye was the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, holding that title until surpassed by one in Nanchang, China, in 2006.

The London Eye across the Thames. By Khamtran 

London only reached its pre-World War 2 population level in January, 2015.


London was named the most googled city in the world in 2015 for its art galleries, performing arts and innovative design, with the Science Museum is the most searched-for museum.

London bridge photo from hot air balloon. By Daniel Chapma -Wikipedia

London's Oxford Street is Europe's longest high street at 1.5 miles.

Traffic in central London moves at the same speed as horse-drawn carriages did in the 1800s.

With 56 cm a year, London is the driest British city.

November is the only month when more rain usually falls on London than Paris.

There are over 300 languages spoken in London schools. The most popular languages after English are Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Cantonese, and Mandarin.

London has the most billionaires of any city in the world.

In Greater London, there are 8.4 million trees, almost one for every person. This means that according to a UN definition, London can be classified as a forest,

Source Daily Express

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