The London History Series: The High Middle Ages

High Middle Ages walk with London Blue Badge Guide Sue JacksonWe are in the 14th and 15th centuries now. The City is wealthy and a closed shop still controlled by its Livery Companies which protect and promote all trades. Individual merchants are flourishing and amongst them is one Richard Whittington (left), better to known to most as Dick Whittington of pantomime fame.

He was in fact far from the poor boy of legend come to London to seek the streets paved with gold. He was the son of a wealthy merchant who apprenticed him to the most important trade guild of all, the Mercers, dealers in fine cloth: silks and velvets and wool. Whittington flourished and became wealthy, a great benefactor. He could afford to waive repayments of loans to royalty and became Lord Mayor four times.

We start this walk near to where he lived and worked, worshipped and was buried. In his will he left money to found almshouses for the poor and a College of Priests. We are poised on the very springboard of London’s great leap to power and importance. We pass the establishments which shaped Whittington’s rise to prominence – the Mercers’ Hall, the the original home of the City Mayors, the Guildhall. We begin to realize how unique the City was and is. This is the time that so many traditions and ceremonies began and continue. It is a time when individuals were free to progress regardless of birth.

Meet Mansion House tube station (District and Circle) exit 3.

Cost: £10 per adult, £8 concessions (seniors over 65, full-time students, Walkabout Card holders). Children under 15 go free if accompanied by their parent(s).

This walk is not part of my scheduled itinerary for Winter 20116/17.

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