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Online Exhibition

Featured Cities:

The Historic Towns Trust has made available a collection of recordings, maps and research material from the British Historic Towns Atlas volume and Town & City Historical Maps on the featured city of London.

Early Tudor London: On the Brink of Transformation?
Borders and Borderlands Lectures

Early Tudor London: On the Brink of Transformation?

Recorded Spring Lecture Series

Early Tudor London: On the Brink of Transformation?

with Professor Vanessa Harding

This lecture is presented by Trust Chair Vanessa Harding, Emeritus Professor of London History at Birkbeck, University of London. She has contributed to the HTT maps of Medieval London and Tudor London, and is currently developing a project to map London on the eve of the Great Fire. This lecture was produced in association with the Borders and Borderlands research network at the University of Bristol.

About the lecture

London in 1520 - the date of the Historic Towns Trust’s map – was still essentially a medieval city, but on the brink of two transformative events: the Reformation, and the ensuing dissolution of the monasteries, and explosive population growth. London’s medieval monasteries, nunneries, and friaries had been closed down by 1540, and only some of the hospitals survived.


Meanwhile, the capital’s population, perhaps 50-60,000 at the beginning of the century, had expanded to c.200,000 by the end. This lecture considers the physical form of the city around 1520, and the changes that were already perceptible.