Birth of a Global City: London 1066-1666

Online course

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Explore the development of London from the Norman Conquest to the Great Fire and learn how London became one of the greatest cities in Europe, a centre of artisan crafts, performance and learning.

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course photo
Portrait of Course Director Mike Berlin

Course Director
Mike Berlin

Mike Berlin is a Lecturer at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is a specialist in the social history of early modern London and has published extensively on the history of London’s guilds. Before joining Birkbeck, he was a research officer at the Centre for Metropolitan History, Institute of Historical Research.

I am loving the course even if I have to do a bit of it through the recording. I am learning a ton. Thank you Current Student

Course overview

Medieval London was a walled city of crowded streets and lanes, open air markets and wooden and stone houses, its inhabitants living perilously and piously amid a skyline of a hundred church spires.

With the V&A’s collections and curators for inspiration, on this twelve-week course we will explore its dynamic and fascinating history from the Norman Conquest to the Great Fire.

A city of learning and richly skilled crafts, during this period London went from being the prosperous capital of an emerging kingdom on the periphery of Christendom to being one of the greatest cities of Europe, the centre of a growing mercantile empire which looked outward to the Atlantic and beyond. Already an ancient city at the dawn of the first millennium, London was firmly locked into a nexus of trade centering on the North Sea, with links to varied lands and peoples of Scandinavia and north-west Europe.

Speakers Include:
Tracy Borman, Joint Chief Curator, Historic Royal Palaces
Professor Vanessa Harding, Birkbeck College
Giles Ramsay, Theatre historian and Artistic Director of the theatre company Trident Theatre


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Online course: Birth of a Global City: London 1066-1666

21 September 2022 - 7 December 2022


Need help enrolling? Talk to the admissions team:

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Open 9.30 - 17.30, Monday to Sunday (closed 24-26 December)