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Gladiator Games return to Londonium : Roman fun at the Guildhall – 25th to 28th August 2017

Photo © Museum of London

Beneath the historic Guildhall in the City of London is the site of London’s only Roman amphitheatre whose remains were uncovered by archaeologists over 30 years ago under the courtyard.

In August, new gladiatorial battles will commence at the very location where Roman gladiators fought 2,000 years ago. Eight thrilling afternoon and evening events will take place across the August Bank Holiday Weekend, Friday 25-Monday 28 August 2017.

Photo © Museum of London

Gladiators in full, magnificent battle dress will enter the arena before packed crowds and fight a series of powerful battles – intense clashes of steel swords, brightly decorated shields, spears and shining armour. The audience will become a big part of the action, taking sides and encouraging the emperor to save or spare each stricken fighter.

Photo © Museum of London

The Gladiator Games are performed by Britannia, the collective renowned for its work on the BAFTA-nominated CBBC programme, Horrible Histories, and the celebrated Ridley Scott film, Gladiator. Each performance is the result of research into events in the 1st century A.D., using images drawn from Roman coins, paintings, sculpture and mosaics, surviving commentaries and archaeological finds.

Photo © Museum of London

Accompanying the main event will be a special Roman festival, which will bring the audience closer to life in Londinium, the largest city in Britannia from around AD50 to 410 and a major international port. Musicians will perform, Roman clothes and equipment will be made, crafts demonstrated and explained, and the Museum’s experts will invite the audience to examine and handle real Roman artefacts. Below ground, close to the ruins of the amphitheatre, there will be a special small display of artefacts from the Museum of London that looks at representations of gladiators in Londinium.

Photo © Museum of London

The Games form part of a three-month festival that will celebrate the unique Roman heritage at the heart of the capital, hosted by the City of London Corporation. The festival, called Londinium, is made up of exhibitions, walks, talks, theatre, film and special events, taking place from 28 July – 29 October 2017.

For more information and tickets , visit the City of London website here

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Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
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Review : London’s Roman Amphitheatre at the Guildhall

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One of the most unusual and little known attractions in the City of London is the remains of a Roman amphitheatre beneath the Guildhall Art Gallery. Although the remains are quite limited, their discovery during the redevelopment of the Guildhall Art Gallery in the 1980’s offer some fascinating insights into Roman London.

For well over a century, archaeologists had searched for London’s Roman Amphitheatre and it was considered a surprise that it was built within the old Roman city walls when the majority of ancient amphitheatres were generally built outside the city walls.

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Compared with the large amphitheatres in the Rome and other parts of the Roman world, the history of the London amphitheatre suggests a more modest wooden structure built around AD70, although it was rebuilt in the early 2nd century it is doubtful the capacity was never more than 6,000 to 7,000 people. Throughout the history of the London amphitheatre it is likely that was used for ceremonial public events, religious activities, animal fights, public executions and gladiatorial combat.

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When the Romans left Britain in the fourth century, the amphitheatre was deserted and a ruin for hundreds of years before in the 11th century the area was reoccupied probably by a Viking settlement , by the 12th century the first Guildhall was built next to it.

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The discovery of the Roman amphitheatre provided evidence that this particularly small Guildhall site has been at the centre of London life for almost two thousand years. The attraction has a highly original digital projection and with the sounds of the crowds you can get a taste of what it might have like in a barbaric and bloody Roman Britain.

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As an antidote to the brutal sport of the Roman amphitheatre, visitors can walk upstairs and explore the fine collection of paintings in the Guildhall Art Gallery. Walking out of the Gallery into the courtyard if you look on the ground there is black inlaid stone in the paving which marks the outline of the arena below.

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London’s Roman Amphitheatre forms part of Guildhall Galleries which includes the City’s Art and Heritage Galleries, Guildhall Library, Guildhall Great Hall and St Lawrence Jewry all are located in the same area and are free to enter.

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If you would like to visit the ruins of London’s Roman Amphitheatre, walk into the Guildhall Art Gallery.and follow the signs. The admission is Free.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

Opening hours

Monday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm

Sunday, 12pm – 4pm

If you would like further information, visit the City of London website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here