Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

Roman London - Londinium
Sites & Museums

Londinium was a Roman settlement founded in AD 43 on the banks of the Thames River. The Roman settlement corresponds to the modern-day city of London. Initially established as a trading hub, it served as the capital of Roman Britain for over 350 years. Londinium was a prosperous city with a population of up to 60,000 people and was home to a range of different industries, including pottery, glass-making, and metalworking. Today there are a number of sites with vestiges of Roman architecture that can be visited, including remnants of the Roman wall and remains of the Roman amphitheatre and mithraeum.

Roman Sites in London

Keston Roman Villa & Tombs

On the edge of Greater London in the small leafy village of Keston, archaeologists found the remains of a 3rd Century AD Roman villa and at least two tombs and many individual graves. Excavations started in the late 1960s and carried on until the 1990s. For conservation reasons the villa was covered up following excavation, but the tombs were left exposed. The ruins are on private property and are usually only accessible to the public on open days held in September each year.

London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE

A chance discovery in 1954 during post-war archaeological excavations led to the discovery of the Roman mithraeum. The temple dedicated to Mithras was built in the 3rd century AD. During the construction of Bloomberg’s European headquarters archaeologists found numerous Roman artefacts. Including over 400 writing tablets, one being the first recorded reference to London. A selection of these are on display along with a spectacular and engaging presentation of the mithraeum.

London's Roman & Medieval City Wall

After nearly 2,000 years sizeable fragments of the wall that once defended the Roman port of Londinium still remain. The wall was built in about 200 AD, and along with Hadrian’s Wall and the network of Roman roads it was one of the largest architectural features to have been built by in Britain by the Romans. It was maintained and rebuilt by successive Medieval Londoners, and today the various fragments are incorporated into the contemporary architecture and layout of the City of London.

London's Roman Amphitheatre

The east gate the London’s Roman amphitheatre was discovered underneath the Guildhall Art Gallery in 1985 during the construction of a building to replace the gallery building that was destroyed during World War II. These meagre remains have since been conserved in situ for visitors in the basement of the art gallery, next to London’s historic Guildhall. An innovative presentation adds to the archaeological remains to give you an idea of how 7,000 spectators would have been seated on tiered wooden seats.

The City Wall at Vine Street

In the basement of Emperor House, on Vine Street, is a part of the 4th century wall that surrounded the Roman city Londinium. A small section of the wall ( 10 m long and 3 m high) still stands along with the foundations of a Roman bastion tower. Originally excavated by archaeologists in the 1970sand 1980s, and studied again in 2012 the remains of the London Wall ae now the centrepiece of a gallery space and café. Besides the wall, a number of artefacts recovered during the excavations are on display. Entry to the gallery is free to anyone, but you are required to book in advance on the website. The venue is open everyday except public holidays.

Roman Museums in London

Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

The museum has over 80,000 artefacts of Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology, telling the story of life in the Nile Valley from prehistory through Pharaonic Egypt, the Ptolemaic, Roman and Coptic periods to the Islamic period. The international importance of the museum’s collection lies in the vast range of objects, all from documented excavations of archaeological sites. But, this is not just a vast collection, it also has a number of significant pieces, including one of the oldest pieces of linen from Egypt.

Sir John Soane's Museum

Sir John Soane was a neo-classical architect active in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, best known for designing the Dulwich Picture Gallery in southeast London. Soane’s house in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, central London, was largely designed by himself, and displays his collections of art and antiquities. At his death he requested his house remain as he left it and it remains a museum to this day. Among the ancient artefacts is the sarcophagus of Seti I, bronzes from Pompeii and Peruvian ceramics.

The London Museum - Opening 2026

The Museum of London at the Wall closed its doors to the public in December 2022. It opened to the public in 1976. The museum will open again in 2026, in a new location and with a new name: the London Museum in West Smithfield, not far from the Wall site. The new location allows for a greater part of the museum’s 7 million+ objects to be displayed. The museum will continue to cover all aspects of London’s story, from 450,000 BC to the present.

Victoria & Albert Museum

One of London’s largest museums, the Victoria & Albert opened in 1852. Devoted to the decorative arts and design, it has a rich and eclectic collection of objects from around the world, including archaeological and historic artefacts from medieval Europe along with galleries devoted to objects from India, East Asia, and the Islamic world. The Cast Courts feature replicas of many well known ancient and Renaissance artworks from Europe, including Trajan’s Column and Michelangelo’s David.