London was founded by the Romans in about 50 AD and acquired
its walls between 190 and 225. Despite some expansion London
remained essentially within these walls until 1550. The city had several generally-accepted set images at this time – particularly
as a walled city and as a city on the Thames - before the creation
of the standard view from Bankside dating from the 1540s. William Smith's 1588 panorama for example remains
an iconic image of London.
The earliest surviving printed maps of London portray a bustling,
prosperous and well-ordered city. Wenceslas Hollar was completing
what would have been a magnificent map when the Great Fire of
1666 intervened. But in reality there had always been more industry (and noise,
discomfort, disease and smells) than was reflected in the printed
Click the pins on the Google Map above or follow the links below to
view some of the key maps from this period.