Are you ready to explore the dark underbelly of London’s history? Join the ‘Burnings, Butchery & Black Death: London’s Bloody Past’ tour and uncover the city’s gruesome secrets.

Did you know that Smithfield, a historic area known for its slaughter and execution, witnessed countless chilling events throughout the centuries? With an expert guide leading the way, you’ll step back in time and witness the disposal of Black Death corpses during the 1300s.

Explore the brutal execution methods of the Middle Ages and encounter fascinating historical figures, from kings to body snatchers and even Charles Dickens himself. Prepare to be captivated by London’s notorious past, as you unravel the stories of how Smithfield descended into a slum.

Don’t miss this spine-chilling adventure into London’s blood-soaked history.

Good To Know

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  • London’s history is filled with gruesome events such as burnings, butchery, and the Black Death.
  • Smithfield, a site of animal and human slaughter for centuries, played a significant role in London’s history.
  • The tour provides insights into the disposal of Black Death corpses and the execution methods used in the Middle Ages.
  • Smithfield’s transformation into a notorious slum, as depicted in Dickens’ Oliver Twist, is explored during the tour.

London’s Gruesome History Unveiled

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London’s gruesome history is unveiled through a chilling walking tour that delves into the city’s dark past, revealing the horrifying events and characters that shaped its bloody reputation. This tour uncovers London’s dark secrets and takes visitors on a journey through haunted landmarks that bear witness to the city’s macabre past.

From the notorious Smithfield, a site of animal and human slaughter for centuries, to the eerie tales of the Black Death and the execution methods used in the Middle Ages, this tour offers a captivating exploration of London’s haunting history.

Participants will also discover how Smithfield transformed into a slum, as depicted in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. As visitors step back in time, they’ll encounter kings, body snatchers, ghosts, and even William Wallace, seeing the chilling stories that have shaped London’s bloody reputation.

Smithfield: The Site of Slaughter

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Smithfield has been a site of relentless slaughter, where animals and humans have met their gruesome fate for centuries. But amidst the bloodshed, Smithfield also boasts architectural highlights that tell a story of its role in London’s economy.

The area is home to the iconic Smithfield Market, a sprawling marketplace where livestock was bought and sold. This vibrant hub of activity not only sustained London’s appetite for meat but also served as a crucial economic center. Today, the market stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Smithfield’s role in the city’s trade and commerce.

As visitors explore this historic site, they can marvel at the architectural grandeur and contemplate the dark history that unfolded within its walls.

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Disposing of the Black Death Corpses

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During the devastating outbreak of the Black Death, thousands of corpses were swiftly disposed of in a manner that reflected the urgent need to contain the deadly disease.

The Black Death aftermath posed a significant challenge for London’s authorities, as they had to find ways to manage the overwhelming number of deaths. Historical burial practices were adapted to deal with the crisis.

Mass graves became a common sight, as the bodies were buried quickly to prevent the spread of the disease. Cemeteries were overwhelmed, and traditional funeral rites were abandoned in favor of expediency.

The sheer scale of the Black Death’s devastation forced Londoners to confront the grim reality of death and find innovative ways to handle the disposal of corpses in order to protect the living.

Execution Methods in the Middle Ages

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Execution methods in the Middle Ages varied greatly, reflecting the desire of London’s authorities to establish control and instill fear among the populace. But what were these methods like? Let’s take a closer look:

  1. The Rack: A notorious torture device, the rack involved stretching the victim’s body by tying their hands and feet to opposite ends of a wooden frame. As the device was turned, the victim’s joints would be dislocated, causing excruciating pain.

  2. The Iron Maiden: Shaped like a human figure, the iron maiden was a coffin-like contraption with spikes on the inside. The victim would be placed inside and the door closed, causing the spikes to pierce their body.

  3. The Breaking Wheel: Also known as the Catherine Wheel, this method involved tying the victim to a large wheel and then smashing their limbs with a heavy iron bar. The wheel would then be left on display as a warning to others.

  4. The Gibbet: A form of public execution, the gibbet involved hanging the victim’s body in a metal cage for all to see. Over time, the body would decay, serving as a grim reminder of the consequences of crime.

These methods, while barbaric by today’s standards, were used to not only punish criminals but also to deter others from committing similar acts. As we explore London’s bloody past, it becomes clear that the Middle Ages were a time of extreme brutality and fear.

How To Reserve: This tour can be booked on GetYourGuide. They have a great cancellation policy which means you can save your spot now and can cancel for free right up to the day before.

Smithfield: From Slaughter to Slum

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The transformation from a site of gruesome slaughter to a notorious slum in London’s history was marked by the evolution of Smithfield.

How did this once bustling market for livestock become a Dickensian nightmare? What were the factors that led to its decline?

It all began in the Middle Ages when Smithfield was a hub of animal and human slaughter. But as the city grew and changed, so did the fate of this neighborhood.

With the rise of industrialization and the influx of a growing population, Smithfield became overcrowded and unsanitary. The once lively marketplace turned into a breeding ground for crime and poverty.

Dickens himself depicted the squalor and despair of this slum in his novel Oliver Twist.

Join us as we explore the dark history of Smithfield and uncover the secrets of Dickensian London.

Meeting Historical Figures Along the Way

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As visitors step back in time to explore London’s gruesome history, they’ll have the opportunity to meet historical figures along the way, bringing the past to life. Through interactive storytelling, the tour allows participants to engage with famous characters who shaped the city’s bloody past.

Imagine walking alongside a king, witnessing the beheading of a notorious criminal, or conversing with Charles Dickens as he paints a vivid picture of the slums of Smithfield. The tour guides skillfully weave together historical facts and anecdotes, allowing visitors to truly enjoy the stories of these larger-than-life figures.

Exploring London’s Bloody Past: The Walking Tour

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Visitors can embark on a chilling journey through London’s violent history with the Walking Tour, seeing the city’s bloody past through interactive storytelling and encounters with historical figures.

This tour not only educates participants about the gruesome events that took place in London but also sheds light on the impact of that history on modern-day society.

By uncovering the lesser-known stories of London’s gruesome past, the tour offers a unique perspective on the city’s development and the lasting effects of its violent past.

Through visits to sites like Smithfield, where both animal and human slaughter occurred for centuries, participants can gain a deeper understanding of the city’s dark past and its connection to present-day London.

The Walking Tour provides a thought-provoking experience, prompting visitors to reflect on the consequences of violence and the importance of remembering history.

Common Questions

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Can Children Under 13 Years Old Participate in the Walking Tour?

Yes, children under 13 years old can participate in the walking tour. The tour is family-friendly and suitable for all ages. It offers a unique opportunity to learn about London’s gruesome history.

Is There a Limit to the Number of Attendees for the Walking Tour?

Yes, there is an attendee limit for the walking tour. To ensure maximum enjoyment, ticket sales are limited to fifteen attendees. Plus, please note that the tour is not suitable for children under 13 years of age.

Where Is the Meeting Point for the Walking Tour?

The meeting point for the walking tour is just outside the Barbican Station exit on Aldersgate Street. Participants can easily find the guide, who will be standing there with an Historic London Tours sign.

Are Tips Included in the Ticket Price?

Yes, tips are included in the ticket price for the walking tour. Plus, the group size is limited to fifteen attendees to ensure maximum enjoyment and a more intimate experience.

Can Participants Select Their Preferred Historical Figures to Meet Along the Way?

Participants on the walking tour have the opportunity to customize their experience by selecting preferred historical figures to meet along the way. This unique feature allows for personalized and engaging encounters with the rich history of London.

The Sum Up

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To sum it up, the ‘Burnings, Butchery & Black Death: London’s Bloody Past’ tour offers a captivating and spine-chilling adventure into the dark and gruesome history of London.

From the disposal of Black Death corpses to the brutal execution methods of the Middle Ages, this immersive walking tour explores a thousand years of chilling tales and macabre events.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply seeking a unique and haunting experience, this tour is sure to leave you captivated by the city’s gruesome past.

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