Thomas Rowlandson was an English artist and caricaturist of the Georgian Era, noted for his political satire and social observation. A prolific artist, he wrote satirical verse under the pen name of Peter Pindar. Like other contemporary pre-Victorian caricaturists like James Gillray, he too depicted characters in bawdy postures and he produced erotica, censured by the 1840s, his caricatures included those of people in power such as the Duchess of Devonshire, William Pitt and Napoleon Bonaparte. Rowlandson was born in the City of London, he was baptised on 23 July 1757 at London to William and Mary Rowlandson. His father, had been a weaver, but had moved into trading supplies for the textile industry and after overextending himself was declared bankrupt in 1759. Life became difficult for him in London and, in late 1759, he moved his family to Richmond, North Yorkshire. Thomas's uncle James died in 1764, his widow Jane provided both the funds and accommodation which allowed Thomas to attend school in London.
Rowlandson was educated at the school of Dr Barvis in Soho Square "an academy of some celebrity," where one of his classmates was Richard Burke, son of the politician Edmund Burke. As a schoolboy, Rowlandson "drew humourous characters of his master and many of his scholars before he was ten years old," covering the margins of his schoolbooks with his artwork. In 1765 or 1766 he started at the Soho Academy. There is no documentary evidence that Rowlandson took drawing classes at the business-oriented school, but it seems as on leaving school in 1772, he became a student at the Royal Academy. According to his obituary of 22 April 1827 in The Gentleman's Magazine, Rowlandson was sent to Paris at the age of 16, spent two years studying in a "drawing academy." There. In Paris he studied drawing "the human figure" and continued developing his youthful skill in caricature, it was on his return to London that he took classes at the Royal Academy based at Somerset House. Rowlandson spent six years studying at the Royal Academy, but about a third of this time was spent in Paris where he may have studied under Jean-Baptiste Pigalle.
He made frequent tours to the Continent, enriching his portfolios with numerous sketches of life and character. In 1775 he exhibited a drawing of Dalilah Payeth Sampson a Visit while in Prison at Gaza at the Royal Academy and two years received a silver medal for a bas-relief figure, he was spoken of as a promising student. On the death of his aunt, he inherited £7,000 with which he plunged into the dissipations of the town and was known to sit at the gaming-table for 36 hours at a stretch. In time poverty overtook him, his drawing of Vauxhall, shown in the Royal Academy exhibition of 1784, had been engraved by Pollard, the print was a success. Rowlandson was employed by Rudolph Ackermann, the art publisher, who in 1809—issued in his Poetical Magazine The Schoolmaster's Tour—a series of plates with illustrative verses by Dr. William Combe, they were the most popular of the artist's works. Again engraved by Rowlandson himself in 1812, issued under the title of the Tour of Dr Syntax in Search of the Picturesque, they had attained a fifth edition by 1813, were followed in 1820 by Dr Syntax in Search of Consolation, in 1821 by the Third Tour of Dr Syntax in Search of a Wife.
He produced a body of erotic prints and woodcuts. The same collaboration of designer and publisher appeared in the English Dance of Death, issued in 1814–16 and in the Dance of Life, 1817. Rowlandson illustrated Smollett and Sterne, his designs will be found in The Spirit of the Public Journals, The English Spy, The Humorist. Rowlandson's designs were done in outline with the reed-pen, delicately washed with colour, they were etched by the artist on the copper, afterwards aquatinted—usually by a professional engraver, the impressions being coloured by hand. As a designer he was characterised by his ease of draughtsmanship, he dealt less with politics than his fierce contemporary, but touching, in a rather gentle spirit, the various aspects and incidents of social life. His most artistic work is to be found among the more careful drawings of his earlier period, his work included a personification of the United Kingdom named John Bull, developed from about 1790 in conjunction with other British satirical artists such as Gillray and George Cruikshank.
He produced many works depicting the characters involved in election campaigns and race meetings. However, his satirical works of London's street life such as the "pleasure gardens at Vauxhall, jostling with soldiers, students and society beauties," which exhibit acute social observation and commentary are amongst his finest. Rowlandson's caricatures include those on the medical profession which developed through his friendship with John Wolcot around 1778, he earned money illustrating books of physicians and quacks. In life, he produced caricatures on medical themes, his patron and friend Matthew Michell collected hundreds of his paintings which Michell displayed at his country residence, Grove House in Enfield, Middlesex. After Michell's death his nephew, Sir Henry Onslow, sold the contents of Grove House at an eight-day sale in November 1818. One of the best-known of Rowlandson's paintings is "Hengar House the seat of Matt
A roadhouse or stopping house is a commercial establishment built on or near a major road or highway that services passing travellers. The word's meaning varies by country; the historical equivalent was known as a coaching inn, providing food and rest to people and horses. The "roadhouse" or "road house" acts as a restaurant, serving meals in the evenings, it has a bar serving beer or hard liquor and features music and sometimes gambling. Most roadhouses are located along highways or roads on the outskirts of towns. Early roadhouses provided lodging for travelers, but with the advent of faster means of transport than walking, horseback riding, or horse-drawn carriages, few now offer rooms to let. Roadhouses have a disreputable image, similar to honky tonks; this type of roadhouse has been portrayed in movies such as The Wild One, Easy Rider, Road House. Roadhouses sprang up when significant numbers of people began to move to the frontier. In Western Canada they were known as stopping houses. From the 1890s in Alaska and the Yukon, beginning with the gold rush, roadhouses were checkpoints where dog drivers, horse-driven sleighs, people on snowshoes, skis, or walking would stop overnight for shelter and a hot meal.
Remains of a Klondike Gold Rush roadhouse can be seen today south of Carmacks, Yukon along the Klondike Highway. One built in 1902 is the Black Rapids Roadhouse. In Australia a roadhouse is a filling station on a major intercity route. A roadhouse sells fuel and provides maintenance and repairs for cars, but it has an attached "restaurant" to sell and serve hot food to travellers. Roadhouses also serve as truck stops, providing space for parking of semi-trailer trucks and buses, as well as catering to travellers in private cars. In remote areas such as the Nullarbor Plain, a roadhouse offers motel-style accommodation and camping facilities. In Britain, wayside lodgings of this type were called coaching inns; as in other countries, they were a place along the road for people travelling on foot or by horse to stay at night, but today they are restaurants or pubs without lodging. However, many coaching inns those in rural counties, have kept their accommodation to become bed & breakfasts or country hotels.
With the advent of popular travel by motor car in the 1920s and 1930s, a new type of roadside pub emerged located on the newly constructed arterial roads and bypasses. They were large establishments offering meals and accommodation to motorists and parties travelling by charabanc; the largest pubs boasted facilities such as tennis swimming pools. Their popularity ended with the outbreak of the Second World War when recreational road travel became impossible, the advent of post-war drink driving legislation prevented their full recovery. Post houses were established along principal highways. Post masters provided fresh horses, sometimes carriages and over-night accommodation for use by Royal officers called Postillones, who were uniformed guides authorised to conduct passengers and messages along specific routes. "Roadhouse Blues," a song by The Doors The Roadhouse from Twin Peaks, a local music bar on the outskirts of the main town. Rest area Charging station Fast food restaurant List of public house topics
Black Boy Inn
The Black Boy Inn in the Royal Town of Caernarfon in Gwynedd, Wales is a hotel and public house, thought to date back to 1522, making it one of the oldest surviving inns in North Wales. It is a few hundred yards from Caernarfon Castle. Prior to 1828, the pub was known as the'Black Boy'. Though still referred to by its traditional name, it was altered to the'King's Arms' and the'Fleur de Lys', until a change of ownership led to the restoration of the old name and the creation of the "Black Boy Inn" as it is today; the Inn signs each show a ` black boy' on the other. The Inn's name has caused controversy and there are at least three theories to explain its name. One is believed to come from a'black buoy' which existed in the harbour in the early days of the Inn. Another refers to the nickname given to Charles II by his mother Henrietta Maria of France because of the darkness of his skin and eyes, as well as the fact that Royalists met at the Inn secretly at that time; the place became the local fishermen's favourite drinking place and the name of ‘black boy’ may come from this period.
In Caernarfon's heyday as a port-town, Northgate Street – on which the Black Boy Inn is situated – was the heart of the red-light district. Northgate Street's Welsh name Stryd Pedwar a Chwech translates to "Four and Six Street": what the sailors are reputed to have paid for a room, a bottle of gin, the services of a woman for the night. The'North Gate' archway found at the end of Northgate Street was added about the 1820s, it was designed to help facilitate the flow of traffic in and out of the old town, is not part of the original town wall design. Prior to the'North Gate' archway, a census carried out in 1794 revealed this street was referred to as'Black Boy' street; the earliest reference to the "Black Boy" can be found in Caernarfon's archives dated 1717, a Deed of Sale of a house in "Street Y Black Boy" between Thomas Wynne, Glynllifon and a Henry Robyns. The ghost of a nun is said to pass through the inn on her way to a nunnery, once situated at the rear; the pub has been listed as Grade II, being a rare surviving 17th century building in Caernarfon that still retains some original interior details.
The Black Boy Inn is one of the few remaining free houses owned by an independent family business in the United Kingdom. In 1990 an archaeological excavation was carried out alongside the Black Boy Inn. Archaeologists discovered the skeleton of an old woman, believed to have been buried there to save the expense of a funeral. During restoration work in 2009 workmen uncovered a range of relics underneath the dining room floorboards; the collection included a child's shoe, clay pipes, a coin thought to date back to 1860. Upstairs rooms unveiled old beams. In 2008 and 2009, the Black Boy Inn was presented with the Cask Marque award for its cask ales, it is included in CAMRA's 2010 edition of its annual Good Beer Guide, which features the best real ale venues in the United Kingdom. Official Website
Inns are establishments or buildings where travelers can seek lodging and food and drink. They are located in the country or along a highway. Inns in Europe were first established when the Romans built their system of Roman roads two millennia ago; some inns in Europe are several centuries old. In addition to providing for the needs of travelers, inns traditionally acted as community gathering places. Inns in Europe provided not only food and lodging, but stabling and fodder for the travelers' horses. Famous London examples of inns include the Tabard. There is however no longer other kinds of establishment. Many pubs use the name "inn", either because they are long established and may have been coaching inns, or to summon up a particular kind of image. Inns were like bed and breakfasts, with a community dining room, used for town meetings or rented for wedding parties; the front, facing the road was welcoming for travelers. The back usually had at least one livery barn for travelers to keep their horses.
There were not lobbies as in modern inns. Many inns were large estates that had extra rooms for renting. During the 19th century the inn played a major role in the growing transportation system of England. Industry was on the rise and people were traveling more in order to keep and maintain business; the English Inn was considered an important part of English infrastructure as it helped maintain a smooth flow of travel throughout the country. As modes of transport have evolved, tourist lodging has adapted to serve each generation of traveller. A stagecoach made frequent stops at roadside coaching inns for water and horses. A passenger train stops only at designated stations in the city centre, around which were built grand railway hotels. Motorcar traffic on old-style two-lane highways may pause at any camp, cabin court or motel along the way, while freeway traffic is restricted to access from designated off-ramps to side roads which become crowded with hotel chain operators; the original functions of an inn are now split among separate establishments, such as hotels and motels, all of which might provide the traditional functions of an inn but which focus more on lodging customers than on other services.
The lodging aspect of the word inn lives on in hotel brand names like Holiday Inn, in some laws that refer to lodging operators as innkeepers. The Inns of Court in London were once accommodations for members of the legal profession. Other forms of inn exist throughout the world. Among them are the honjin and ryokan of Japan, caravanserai of the Central Asia and Middle East, Jiuguan in ancient China. In Asia Minor, during the periods of rule by the Seljuq and Ottoman Turks, impressive structures functioning as inns were built because it was thought that inns were significant; these inns provided accommodation for people and their vehicles or animals and served as a resting place for people, whether travelling on foot or by other means. These inns were built between towns; these structures were called caravansarais which were inns with large courtyards with ample supplies of water for both drinking and other uses. They would routinely contain a café in addition to supplies of food and fodder. After the caravans traveled a while they would take a break at these caravansarais, spend the night there to rest both themselves and their animals.
The term "inn" characterized a rural hotel which provided lodging and refreshments, accommodations for travelers' horses. To capitalize on this nostalgic image many lower end and middling modern motor hotel operators seek to distance themselves from similar motels by styling themselves "inns", regardless of services and accommodations provided. Examples are Holiday Inn, Comfort Inn, Days Inn and Knights Inn; the term inn is retained in its historic use in many laws governing motels and hotels known as "innkeeper's acts", or refer to hôteliers and motel operators as "innkeepers" in the body of the legislation These laws define the innkeepers' liability for valuables entrusted to them by clients and determine whether an innkeeper holds any lien against such goods. In some jurisdictions, an offence named as "defrauding an innkeeper" prohibits fraudulently obtaining "food, lodging, or other accommodation at any hotel, boarding house, or eating house". Burke, Thomas The Book of the Inn: being two hundred pictures of the English inn from the earliest times to the coming of the railway hotel.
London: Constable Burke, Thomas The English Inn. London: Herbert Jenkins --do.-- --do.--Revised. London: Herbert Jenkins Everitt, Alan "The English Urban Inn", in his: Landscape and Community in England. London: Hambledon Press ISBN 0907628427 (The Oxford Companion to Local
Great North Road (Great Britain)
The Great North Road was the main highway between London and Scotland. It became a coaching route used by mail coaches travelling between London and Edinburgh; the modern A1 parallels the route of the Great North Road. Coaching inns, many of which survive, were staging posts providing accommodation, stabling for horses and replacement mounts. Nowadays no surviving coaching inns can be seen while driving on the A1, because the modern route bypasses the towns in which the inns are found; the traditional starting point of the Great North Road was Smithfield Market in London. Hicks Hall, the first purpose-built sessions-house for the Middlesex justices of the peace, was built in 1611 north of the market, on an island site in the middle of St John Street, its site continued to be used for this purpose after the building was demolished soon after 1778. The route followed St John Street to the junction of City Road and Pentonville Road in the north, at the Angel Inn; the Red Bull Theatre was on the street between 1604 and 1666, when it was destroyed in the Great Fire of London.
James Burnett, Lord Monboddo lived at 13 St John Street. He held "learned suppers" at his house, with guests including James Boswell, Robert Burns and Samuel Johnson; when the General Post Office at St Martin's-le-Grand was built in 1829, coaches started using an alternative route, now the modern A1 road, beginning at the Post Office and following Aldersgate Street and Goswell Road before joining the old route close to the Angel. The Angel Inn itself was an important staging post; the next important stages were at Highgate, Hatfield, Baldock and Alconbury, all replete with traditional coaching inns. At Alconbury, the Great North Road joined the Old North Road, an older route which followed the Roman Ermine Street. Here a milestone records mileages to London via both routes: 65 by the Old North Road and 68 by the Great North Road. From Alconbury the Great North Road follows the line of Ermine Street north, through Stilton, crossed the River Nene at Wansford. Ermine Street crossed the River Welland about a mile to the west of what is now the town of Stamford.
The Great North Road passed through the centre of Stamford, with two sharp bends, re-joined the alignment of Ermine Street just before Great Casterton and continued as far as Colsterworth. Inns on this section included the George at Stamford and the Bell Inn at Stilton, the original sellers of Stilton cheese. At Colsterworth the Great North Road diverges west of the Roman road and continues through Grantham, Newark and Bawtry to Doncaster. North of Doncaster the Great North Road again follows a short section of Ermine Street, the Roman Rigg or Roman Ridge. Further north the Great North Road crossed the Roman Dere Street near Boroughbridge from where it continued via Dishforth and Topcliffe to Northallerton and through Darlington and Newcastle, on to Edinburgh. A road forked to the left at the bridge in Boroughbridge to follow Dere Street, Scotch Corner to Penrith and on to Glasgow. Part of this route was the original A1, with a local road from Scotch Corner via Barton to Darlington making the link back to the old Great North Road.
In the first era of stage coaches York was the terminus of the Great North Road. Along the route Doncaster–Selby–York was superseded by the route Doncaster–Ferrybridge–Wetherby–Boroughbridge–Northallerton–Darlington, the more direct way to Edinburgh, the final destination; the first recorded stage coach operating from London to York was in 1658 taking four days. Faster mail coaches began using the route in 1786, stimulating a quicker service from the other passenger coaches. In the "Golden Age of Coaching", between 1815 and 1835, coaches could travel from London to York in 20 hours, from London to Edinburgh in 451⁄2 hours. In the mid-nineteenth century coach services could not compete with the new railways; the last coach from London to Newcastle left in 1842 and the last from Newcastle to Edinburgh in July 1847. The highwayman Dick Turpin's flight from London to York in less than 15 hours on his mare Black Bess is the most famous legend of the Great North Road. Various inns along the route claim Turpin stopped for respite for his horse.
Harrison Ainsworth, in his 1834 romance Rookwood, immortalised the ride. Historians argue that Turpin never made the journey, claiming that the ride was by John Nevison, "Swift Nick", a highwayman in the time of Charles II, 50 years before Turpin, born and raised at Wortley near Sheffield, it is claimed that Nevison, in order to establish an alibi, rode from Gad's Hill, near Rochester, Kent, to York in 15 hours. The Winchelsea Arms, an inn on a long straight section of the Great North Road near Stretton, was reputed to be another haunt of Dick Turpin, it is now called the Ram Jam Inn after a story from the coaching days. A coach passenger undertook to show the landlady the secret of drawing both mild and bitter beer from the same barrel. Two holes were made and she was left with one thumb rammed against one and the other jammed into the other. In literature Jeanie Deans of Sir Walter Scott's novel The Heart of Midlothian travels through several communities on the Great North Road on her way to London.
The road features in The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens. Part of the J. B. Priestley novel The Good Companions mentions the road which represented to northerner Jess Oakroyd, as the gateway to such exotic destinations as Nottingham; the Lord Peter Wimsey short story "The Fantastic Horror of the Cat in the Bag" by Dorothy
A stagecoach is a four-wheeled public coach used to carry paying passengers and light packages on journeys long enough to need a change of horses. It is sprung and drawn by four horses. Used before steam-powered rail transport was available a stagecoach made long scheduled trips using stage stations or posts where the stagecoach's horses would be replaced by fresh horses; the business of running stagecoaches or the act of journeying in them was known as staging. Familiar images of the stagecoach are that of a Royal Mail coach passing through a turnpike gate, a Dickensian passenger coach covered in snow pulling up at a coaching inn, a highwayman demanding a coach to "stand and deliver"; the yard of ale drinking glass is associated by legend with stagecoach drivers, though it was used for drinking feats and special toasts. The stagecoach was a closed four-wheeled vehicle drawn by hard-going mules, it was used as a public conveyance on an established route to a regular schedule. Spent horses were replaced with fresh horses at posts, or relays.
A simplified and lightened form of stagecoach, known as a stage wagon, mud-coach, or mud-wagon, was used in the United States under difficult conditions. These were the vehicles. In addition to the stage driver or coachman who guided the vehicle, a shotgun messenger armed with a coach gun might travel as a guard beside him. A stagecoach traveled at an average speed of about 5 miles per hour, with the average daily mileage covered being around 60 to 70 miles.'Stage' referred to the distance between stage stations on a route but through metonymy it came to be applied to the stagecoach. The first crude depiction of a coach was in an English manuscript from the 13th century; the first recorded stagecoach route ran from Edinburgh to Leith. This was followed by a steady proliferation of other routes around the island. By the mid 17th century, a basic stagecoach infrastructure had been put in place. A string of coaching inns operated as stopping points for travellers on the route between London and Liverpool.
The stagecoach would depart every Monday and Thursday and took ten days to make the journey during the summer months. Stagecoaches became adopted for travel in and around London by mid-century and travelled at a few miles per hour. Shakespeare's first plays were performed at coaching inns such as Southwark. By the end of the 17th century stagecoach routes ran down the three main roads in England; the London-York route was advertised in 1698: Whoever is desirous of going between London and York or York and London, Let them Repair to the Black Swan in Holboorn, or the Black Swan in Coney Street, where they will be conveyed in a Stage Coach, which starts every Thursday at Five in the morning. The novelty of this method of transport excited much controversy at the time. One pamphleteer denounced the stagecoach as a "great evil mischievous to trade and destructive to the public health." Another writer, argued that: Besides the excellent arrangement of conveying men and letters on horseback, there is of late such an admirable commodiousness, both for men and women, to travel from London to the principal towns in the country, that the like hath not been known in the world, and, by stage-coaches, wherein any one may be transported to any place, sheltered from foul weather and foul ways.
The speed of travel remained constant until the mid-18th century. Reforms of the turnpike trusts, new methods of road building and the improved construction of coaches led to a sustained rise in the comfort and speed of the average journey - from an average journey length of 2 days for the Cambridge-London route in 1750 to a length of under 7 hours in 1820. Robert Hooke helped in the construction of some of the first spring-suspended coaches in the 1660s and spoked wheels with iron rim brakes were introduced, improving the characteristics of the coach. In 1754, a Manchester-based company began a new service called the "Flying Coach", it was advertised with the following announcement - "However incredible it may appear, this coach will arrive in London in four days and a half after leaving Manchester." A similar service was begun from Liverpool three years using coaches with steel spring suspension. This coach took an unprecedented three days to reach London with an average speed of eight miles per hour.
More dramatic improvements were made by John Palmer at the British Post Office. The postal delivery service in Britain had existed in the same form for about 150 years—from its introduction in 1635, mounted carriers had ridden between "posts" where the postmaster would remove the letters for the local area before handing the remaining letters and any additions to the next rider; the riders were frequent targets for robbers, the system was inefficient. Palmer made much use of the "flying" stagecoach services between cities in the course of his business, noted that it seemed far more efficient than the system of mail delivery in operation, his travel from Bath to London took a single day to the mail's three days. It occurred to him that this stagecoach service could be developed into a national mail delivery service, so in 1782 he suggested to the Post Office in London that they take up the idea, he met resistance from officials who believed that th
The London Wall was the defensive wall first built by the Romans around Londinium, their strategically important port town on the River Thames in what is now London and subsequently maintained until the 18th century. It is now the name of a road in the City of London running along part of the course of the old wall between Wormwood Street and the Rotunda junction where St. Martin's Le Grand meets Aldersgate Street; until the Middle Ages, the wall defined the boundaries of the City of London. Although the exact reason for the wall's construction is unknown, the wall appears to have been built in the late 2nd or early 3rd century; this was around 80 years after the construction in 120 AD of the city's fort, whose north and west walls were thickened and doubled in height to form part of the new city wall. It continued to be developed until at least the end of the 4th century, making it among the last major building projects undertaken by the Romans before the Roman departure from Britain in 410.
Reasons for its construction may have been connected to the invasion of northern Britain by Picts who overran Hadrian's Wall in the 180s. It may be linked to the political crisis that emerged in late 2nd century when the governor of Britain Clodius Albinus was consolidating his power after claiming the right of succession as Roman emperor. After a struggle with his rival, Septimius Severus, Albinus was defeated in 197 AD at the Battle of Lugdunum; the economic stimulus provided by the wall and Septimius's subsequent campaigns in Scotland improved Londinium's financial prosperity in the early 3rd century. The wall's gateways coincided with their alignment to the British network of Roman roads; the original gates, clockwise from Ludgate in the west to Aldgate, in the east were: Ludgate, Cripplegate and Aldgate. Aldersgate, between Newgate and Cripplegate, was added around 350 AD.. The length and size of the wall made it one of the biggest construction projects in Roman Britain; the completed wall, which had gateways and defensive ditches, was built from Kentish ragstone, brought by barge from quarries near Maidstone.
It was 2 mi long enclosing an area of about 330 acres. It was 2.5 m to 3 m wide and up to 6 m ) high. The ditch or fossa in front of the outer wall was up to 5 m wide. There were at least 22 towers spaced about 64 m apart on the eastern section of the wall. After Londinium was raided on several occasions by Saxon pirates in the late 3rd century, construction of an additional riverside wall began in 280 AD. With the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, Londinium ceased to be the capital of Britannia although Romano-British culture continued in the St Martin-in-the-Fields area until around 450. However, the defences must have retained some of their former formidable strength because the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle mentions that the Romano-British retreated back to London after their bloody defeat at the battle of Crecganford at the hands of Hengist and Horsa, leaders of the Saxon invaders. From around 500, an Anglo-Saxon settlement known as Lundenwic developed in the same area to the west of the old abandoned Roman city.
But by about 680, London had revived sufficiently to become a major Saxon port. However, the upkeep of the wall was not maintained and London fell victim to two successful Viking assaults in 851 and 886 AD. In 886 AD the west-Saxon king, Alfred the Great, formally agreed to the terms of the Danish warlord, concerning the area of political and geographical control, acquired by the incursion of the Vikings. Within the eastern and northern part of England with its boundary stretching from London to Chester, the Scandinavians would establish Danelaw. In the same year, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded. Archaeological research shows that this involved abandonment of Lundenwic and a revival of life and trade within the old Roman walls; this was part Alfred's policy of building an in-depth defence of the Kingdom of Wessex against the Vikings as well as creating an offensive strategy against the Vikings who controlled Mercia. The Burghal Hidage of Southwark was created on the southbank of the River Thames during this time.
The city walls of London were repaired as the city grew until about 950 when urban activity increased dramatically. A large Viking army that attacked the London burgh was defeated in 994. By the 11th century, London was beyond all comparison the largest town in England. Westminster Abbey, rebuilt in the Romanesque style by King Edward the Confessor, was one of the grandest churches in Europe. Winchester had been the capital of Anglo-Saxon England, but from this time on, London became the main forum for foreign traders and the base for defence in time of war. In the view of Frank Stenton: "It had the resources, it was developing the dignity and the political self-consciousness appropriate to a national capital."The size and importance of London led to the redevelopment of the city's defences. During the early medieval period – following the Norman Conquest of England – the walls underwent substantial work that included crenellations, additional gates and further towers and bastions. Aside from the seven City Wall gates and the four bars, there are the 13 water-gates on the Thames where goods were unloaded from ships.
These include Bridge Gate. Additionally there were pedestrian-only gates such as Tower Gate and the postern gate at the Tower of London; as London continued to grow throughout the medieval period, urban development grew beyond the city walls. This expansion led