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Chair of the Trust

Professor Vanessa Harding

Vanessa Harding is Professor Emeritus of London History at Birkbeck, University of London. Her research and writing focuses on the social history of medieval and early modern London (c.1500–1700), particularly on family and household, environment, health and disease, death and burial.

She has contributed to the Trust's maps of Medieval London c.1270 and Tudor London c.1520, and is currently developing a project to map London on the eve of the Great Fire.


Early Tudor London: On the Brink of Transformation?

With Professor Vanessa Harding

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 will consider the physical form of the city around 1520, and the changes that were already perceptible.


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