|sent from: Esher, Surrey, UK. destination: Guildford, Surrey, UK|
Reading Peter Ackroyd’s Biography of London, and I am struck by his descriptions of Londinium, Roman London. I’ve never been able to picture it as a Roman town with temples, baths and all the usual stuff.
My popular image of London starts somewhere in the Tudor/Shakespearean/Elizabethan ruffle-age, all wooden huts, straw, guilds, filth in the streets, beheadings. Even though this idea comes several hundred years after the construction of buildings I see almost every day (eg. Westminster Abbey) and ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED years since Romans brought words like panini, espresso and carluccios to our shores.
I tried hard yesterday to picture this other place, but somehow The Plaza on Oxford Street refused to become a Piazza. It would appear one reason we know little is the lack of survivable evidence, which leaves the imagination free to dig deep into the ground and see what may surface.