Tracing the Tudors: The Real London of Wolf Hall
The political and personal machinations of the Tudor age were brought to life by Hilary Mantel’s novels Wolf Hall, Bringing Up The Bodies (and their rightly garlanded adaption by the BBC) and the final instalment, The Mirror and the Light.
It was certainly one of the more turbulent periods in our history. Born out of the Wars of the Roses, it was a dynasty never far from conflict: the split with Rome, dissolution and creation of a new church; Mary’s vain (and bloody) attempts to restore the catholic faith; the looming threat of The Armada; and the tricky tightrope that all the leading protagonists had to walk to stay the right side of the executioner’s axe.
But it wasn’t all about royalty and religion. The influx of land and money from the dissolution created systems of governance that were arguably the forerunner of the modern civil service and, amidst the turmoil, England created its own version of The Renaissance that included the birth of modern theatre in the hands of the likes of Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe and the Burbages.
However, thanks to the 1666 Great Fire, physical traces of the age are hard to find in current day London. Unless, of course, you know where to look…
Join me to track down the locations that tell the stories behind the stories of Wolf Hall and the events of this most dramaic of centuries that changed England forever.
Meeting point is directly outside the main exit to Blackfriars Station on Queen Victoria Street and the walk finishes near Liverpool Street, Aldgate and Bank stations, walk duration is about 2 hours.
You can check your travel options using the TFL Journey Planner.
Some comments from tripadvisor reviews that guests were kind enough to post about this tour:
“What a treat. Having read a lot about Cromwell I was rather worried we should be offered a rather dry, factual experience- but Mark brought so much to life. He must have done this walk many times, but his ongoing enthusiasm and historical knowledge really added to our enjoyment. He made it feel like a piece of theatre.”
“I’d never been on a walk with Mark before, but I very soon discovered that he is a brilliant guide who puts a lot of preparation into his walks and has some compelling stories to tell about his subject matter. Despite the fact that so much of Tudor London was destroyed in the Great Fire, he managed to bring this fascinating period of history very much to life.”
“Mark is enthusiastic, so knowledgeable, funny, informative and the information he gave us was supported by humorous anecdotes and amusing stories. I was taken on the Tracing the Tudors walk as a Christmas present and I can’t think of a time when I had more fun whilst learning and being in great company. We can’t recommend him highly enough – go on a walk with him and have a brilliant time.”