A History of London

Ref: C2224344

This course will explore the growth and development of London from its early days as Londinium through successive waves of growth, influenced by geography, by national events, by land ownership and economics. For a good part of its history it was 'the Metropolis', an urban sprawl subject to numerous local authorities with no single guiding rule, as it outgrew the City and found no barriers to expansion. The course will be illustrated in images and texts from contemporary sources wherever possible, including chronicles and histories, diaries, royal proclamation, newspapers, art and of course maps. We'll consider their value as evidence. Some of the individuals who played key roles as architects or engineers will also be featured.

Course aim

The course will survey the growth and spread of London from Roman times to the present, through contemporary witnesses in writing and images, and its bearing on present-day issues.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify key sources for studying the history of London.
  • Describe the achievements of one or more of the major architects or developers.
  • Compare the institutions in London with those of any other historic city known to me.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • A modern map of Greater London would be useful.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full Course information sheet

A History of London


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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