I’d asked my best friend Bast what she would like to do in London. Most of her list was of interest to me, but the only thing on it that fit in with my itinerary was the Guildhall Art Gallery & Roman Amphitheatre. It was about halfway between the Tower of London and St. Paul’s. Considering what an amazing find this amphitheatre was, it really isn’t that well known. Thanks for bringing it to my attention, Bast!
London is really easy to get around. There is tons of signage everywhere, so even getting to something a little off the tourist path was super easy. I never did get a SIM card for my phone, so I couldn’t use it for directions and I also never got a paper map. I didn’t need either.
On the way, I decided to mail Bast a postcard. That was… trying. I passed a business marked “Post Office,” but it didn’t say Royal Mail anywhere. I logged onto the free WiFi provided by the Tesco Express a couple of doors down to confirm that “Post Office” is just that and that Royal Mail has been privatised. So I went back to Post Office and a very large and scary looking man demanded to know what I wanted. I said that I wanted to mail a postcard and he looked at me like I was a complete idiot (maybe that’s not how you say that in the UK?) and told me to use one of the self serve machines.
I wasn’t keen on doing that and tried to get to a counter, but he blocked me and repeated that I had to use the self serve machines. I went to a machine and poked around the menus for a bit until I was fairly confident that I had located the correct postage. I then had to figure out where to insert the coins I wanted to use for payment. That done, a stamp printed, but I had no idea where to mail my letter. I went back to the entrance and found two slots marked “Franked mail”, one for 1st class and the other for 2nd class. Mr. Big Scary Dude was gone and there was a long queue at the service counter, so I went back to Tesco for their WiFi to look up which slot I should drop my letter into and got nowhere. So I went back and stuck it in the 2nd class slot… Bast, I hope it gets to you. If not, I tried my best! 😀
I then found the Guildhall Art Gallery, located in a pretty courtyard. The amphitheatre is below it. The entrance is to the right where you can see people queuing. Admission is free, but you have to put your bags through a scanner, hence why it took some time to get in.
The amphitheatre was found during the construction of the art gallery and was one of the most important archaeological discoveries in London in over a century. The discovery meant that major changes had to be made to the art gallery’s design.
The amphitheatre would have been oval. You can see here a drawing of what it would have looked like.
I liked this door. 🙂
Remains of the wooden drainage system.
The ruins were amazing!
It was already past noon by this point and I knew St. Paul’s could warrant a couple of hours, so I didn’t visit the art gallery, although I did check out a couple of works that caught my eye.