The London Wall Walk follows the line of the City Wall from the Tower of London to the Museum of London. The Walk is 1¾ miles (2.8km) long and is marked by twenty-one panels which can be followed in either direction. The City Wall was built by the Romans c AD 200. During the Saxon period it fell into decay. From the 12th to 17th centuries large sections of the Roman Wall and gates were repaired or rebuilt. From the 17th century, as London expanded rapidly in size, the Wall was no longer necessary for defence. During the 18th century demolition of parts of the Wall began, and by the 19th century most of the Wall had disappeared. Only recently have several sections again become visible.
Aldersgate, City Gate
The increasing threat of raids by Saxons from across the North Sea in the 4th century led to the strengthening of the City defences. It was probable that the west gate of the Roman fort was blocked and a new gate was built here at this time. This gate was of late Roman military design with twin roadways flanked by semi-circular projecting towers. These were built of solid masonry and provided an elevated platform for catapults.
Aldersgate continued as an important gate in the medieval period as it gave access beyond the Wall and ditch to St Bartholomew's Priory, the London Charterhouse and
the livestock market and fair on Smithfield. It was also sometimes used as a prison. On 20 October 1660 Samuel Pepys wrote 'I saw the limbs of some of our new trytors, set upon Aldersgate .. A bloody week this and the last have been, there being ten hanged, drawn and quartered.'
After being damaged in the Great Fire of 1666 the gate was rebuilt. This imposing structure was finally demolished in 1761 to improve traffic access.