What have the Romans ever done for us? Well for starters, they built walls, which are pretty fundamental to cities we’d say. And now you can admire the Romans’ handiwork in real life, as a previously concealed part of the ancient London Wall has been opened to the public for the first time.
A vast part of the wall, which once made up the perimeter of London, lay hidden for decades beneath Emperor House on Vine Street. It was kept in the basement of an office building for 40 years, with no natural light and no public access.
Emperor House was demolished in 2018 and replaced with a new building, which has built a free exhibition around the almost 2,000-year-old wall. The general public can now view this epic piece of London’s history, alongside Roman artefacts found around Vine Street, courtesy of the Museum of London. Some of the objects on display include a tile marked with a cat’s paw print, Roman coins and some discarded animal bones. Excitingly, the wall also contains the base of a bastion – a kind of Roman tower – that was built into the structure.
You can also marvel at the ancient structure from the street outside, or in the café that was built alongside the free exhibition. The exhibit was made in a collaboration between Historic England, Urbanest, the City of London Corporation and the Museum of London.
Free tickets to see the Vine Street wall can be booked online here.
Time Out’s brilliant new podcast, ‘Love Thy Neighbourhood’, is out now. Listen to the first episode with Bimini in Bankside.
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