A.D. 47 Romans occupying Britain found Londinium as a garrison and trading settlement.

200 The first city walls are erected by the Romans.

604 St. Paul's Cathedral is established on its current site.

880s Saxon King Alfred the Great reoccupies the original Roman city.

1066 William, Duke of Normandy, invades England, and the Norman Period begins.

1091 The London Tornado damages London Bridge and St.Mary-le-Bow church.

1189 Henry Fitz Ailwyn becomes London's first recorded Lord Mayor.

1212 The Great Fire of Southwark destroys London Bridge and surrounding streets.


1215 King John signs Magna Carta at Runnymede, granting freedom to the city.

1348-50 The Black Death kills half of London's population.

1381 Wat Tyler, leader of the Peasants' Revolt, is killed in Smithfield by the Lord Mayor.

1550 London's population reaches 120,000.

1642 The Puritan government orders the closure of playhouses such as the Rose, the Swan, and the Globe.

1649 Charles I is beheaded outside Whitehall Palace, in Westminster.

1675 The Royal Observatory is founded in Greenwich.

1682 A market in "Spital Fields" is granted a Royal Charter.


1694 The Bank of England is founded in the City of London.

1703 The calamitous Great Storm -- a hurricane -- batters the city with around 120mph winds.

1738 John Wesley is converted to Methodism, on a site now marked by the Aldersgate Flame.

1746 The last ever execution by axe takes place outside the Tower of London.

1753 The Bow Street Runners, London's first detective force, is formed by author and magistrate Henry Fielding.

1810 London's first Indian restaurant opens.

1815 The Bethlehem Hospital for the insane -- nicknamed "Bedlam" -- closes.


1837 Queen Victoria begins her reign, in the same year that London's first rail station -- Euston -- opens.

1848 The Chartist convention assembles in London and demands political reform.

1851 The world is astonished at the exhibits on show at London's Great Exhibition.

1878 With eerie similarities to the Marchioness disaster 111 years later, the Princess Alice pleasure boat is struck in the Thames, and 650 souls drown.

1909 An American, Gordon Selfridge, opens London's iconic department store.

1923 Bolton beat Londoners West Ham in Wembley Stadium's first F.A. Cup Final.


1945 Seemingly the entire population takes to the streets to celebrate V. E. Day.

1948 London hosts the first postwar Olympic Games.

1952 The Great Smog lasts 5 days and kills 4,000 Londoners.

1953 Queen Elizabeth II is crowned at Westminster Abbey.

1956 The classic red double-decker bus known as the Routemaster hits the streets.

1981 Race riots blight the inner city borough of Brixton.

1986 London's orbital highway, the M25, opens.

1990 Parts of central London are damaged during the Poll Tax Riot.

1991 John Bird founds the Big Issue, a magazine that aims "to help the homeless help themselves."


1994 London is linked to Paris by rail via the Channel Tunnel.

1996 The IRA breaks a 17-month ceasefire with a Docklands bomb that claims two lives.

2003 Mass demonstrations take place as up to a million take to London's streets to protest the impending Iraq War.

2005 July 7 suicide bomb attacks on three Tube trains and one double-decker bus kill 52.

2008 Boris Johnson defeats incumbent Ken Livingstone in the election for Mayor.

2012 London becomes the first city to host a third Olympic Games.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.