Saxon London

Lundenwic was the name the Saxons gave to their settlement which nestled just outside the city walls in the very early 7th century. It covered the area which is today known as Covent Garden. The settlement was over a mile from the western edge of the Roman's great settlement, Londinium which was abandoned when Roman rule lost its hold on Britain.

When the Roman's moved out, the city was left desolate for nearly 500 years and Ludenwic became Greater London's main town when it took root almost 200 years later.

At this point, the Thames was far wider and today's Strand was its embankment, hence the modern name, which means ‘beach' in Old Saxon, and modern day German. Hence Lundenwic was a riverside settlement.

Lundenwic and Londinium were finally reunited under the English king Alfred the Great, who basically kicked all the marauding Danes out of the abandoned city and moved Lundenwic there instead.

The original Lundenwic became Ealdwic, which roughly translates as ‘old city'. This name survives today as Aldwych, marking where Lundenwic once stood.

For more information on what the Romans left behind, see our blog Roman remains found in leafy Syon Park.