Step back in time and experience the sights, sounds and tastes of late medieval London on this immersive wine-tasting tour led by acclaimed historian and broadcaster Dr Matthew Green and brought to life by actors and minstrels hidden en route. Packed with anecdotes and revelations, it will challenge your expectations of what life was like in the Middle Ages.
Featuring a couple of pit stops in City taverns to drink fine medieval wine and meet your fellow travellers.
Saturday 18 March 2017, 2.30pm - 4.30pm
Meet in the courtyard outside Guildhall, London, EC2V 7HH
Glass in hand, let Dr Green guide you through this stark medieval world from the crumbling Roman walls, to Cheapside and the Vintry, the wine-importing (and growing) district where Chaucer's father lived and beyond to the ancient port at Queenhithe. We will finish with malmsey wine overlooking the Thames, taking in the full panorama of medieval London.
En route, a world of fun awaits: you will witness the kind of deliciously twisted punishments reserved for vintners selling putrid wine and nagging women; visit a young anchorite willingly walled into a tiny stone cell for the rest of his life; witness a murderer preparing to abjure the realm from inside one of London's many sanctuaries; hear the story of the white polar bear who lived in the Tower of London and went fishing for his supper in the Thames each night with his Norwegian keeper; and meet Erkenwald, London's forgotten patron saint who struck fear into the hearts of Londoners for over 500 years before being banished to a sleepy suburban street in East Acton.
This is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the medieval metropolis when it was a close-knit and neighbourly place, albeit one that would grow into a megacity, holding up a mirror to our sprawling and more anonymous capital. That, and an excuse to drink some delicious medieval wine.
More About Your Guide...
Dr Matthew Green is the author of the acclaimed book London: A Travel Guide Through Time, which has been described by the Londonist as 'easily the best social history of London for a decade'. Matthew also writes historical features for the Guardian, Financial Times, Telegraph among others and has featured in many TV documentaries. He's the founder of Unreal City Audio, which produces immersive, critically acclaimed tours of historic London.