PortCities London
UK Bristol Hartlepool Liverpool London Southampton
You are here:  PortCities London home > About maritime London
Text Only About this Site Feedback
Explore this site
About maritime London
Early port
Tudor and Stuart port
18th-century port
19th-century port
20th-century port
People and places
Communities
Crime and punishment
Leisure, health and housing
Art and architecture
The working river
Docks and shipping
Trades, industries and institutions
Science and discovery
Historical events
Death and disaster
War and conflict
Fun and games
Matching games
Timeline games
Send an e-card

The early port

Introduction
Roman London
Anglo-Saxon London
Medieval London
*
Send this story to a friend Send this story to a friend
Printer-friendly version Printer-friendly version
View this story in pictures View this story in pictures

Introduction

Roman amphora with olives.
View full size imageA Roman amphora that was dredged from the River Thames in 1983. © NMM

Londinium

In the first century AD, the invading Romans established a settlement called Londinium on the River Thames.

They started building at the point furthest downriver where they could construct a bridge.

Londinium became an important Roman trading centre and by the Middle Ages, London had become the capital of England.

By this time almost two-thirds of the country's trade went through the port.

Opportunities and services

London was the royal, administrative, judicial, commercial and cultural centre of Britain. It offered merchants opportunities and services that other British ports could not.

Maritime London timeline

  • c50 - Londinium founded by the Romans; cuts dug out of the river bank serve as quays   
  • c900 - Ethelredshithe quay founded
  • 1078 - Tower of London started as a symbol of Norman power
  • 1337-1453 - London becomes a major shipbuilding and supply centre during the Hundred Years' War with France

Britain and the world timeline 

  • 43 - Romans invade Britain
  • 410 - Romans leave Britain
  • 871-899 - Reign of King Alfred of Wessex
  • 1016-35 - Reign of King Canute
  • 1066 - Norman Conquest
  • 1066-89 - Reign of King William the Conqueror
Introduction
Roman London
Anglo-Saxon London
Medieval London
*
Send this story to a friend Send this story to a friend
Printer-friendly version Printer-friendly version
View this story in pictures View this story in pictures

*
*
Find out more
Port profileRichard (Dick) Whittington
Medieval mercer and Mayor of London
*
*
*
Port profileKing Canute
The king who could stop the sea?
*
*
*
GalleriesVideoMaritime London video gallery
From Roman settlement to today's Docklands, explore the history of maritime London
*
*
Glossary
Port
Quay

8
National Maritime Museum/Royal Observatory Greenwich New Opportunities Fund  
Legal & Copyright Partner sites: Bristol Hartlepool Liverpool Southampton About this Site Feedback Text Only