Marlyn Lodge is conveniently located within the "City of London". Often just called The City or The Square Mile, the area today is famed as being one of the key centres for finance and banking in the world. But it is also one of the areas of London most steeped in history.
Established around AD50 by the recently arrived Romans, "Londinium" as it was then known, was a perfect place for a new city to thrive. Close to the banks of the Thames, it soon became a vibrant centre for trade and commerce and is the place from which today's metropolis grew. Roman remains can still be seen today (the ancient Roman Amphitheatre can be seen at the Guildhall Art Gallery in Gresham Street).
Tradesmen that settled in London developed guilds, which over time became more and more powerful. And by the 1600s, a proliferation of coffee houses in the city created informal meeting places and offices for tradesmen to collaborate. Many of these coffee houses would eventually develop into major companies and institutions. The London Stock Exchange itself grew out of Jonathan's Coffee House in Change Alley (in Leadenhall Market, a 5-10 minute walk from Marlyn Lodge).
In order to seize new opportunities to trade with the rest of the world, many guilds created extremely powerful Merchant Venture companies such as famous East India Company. By end of the 17th century, the Bank of England had been established and the "City of London" was now a major power in global trade, power and politics.
Of course, the area's history is not without its fair share of tragedy too. Alongside its growth in wealth and power, 17th Century London also suffered the great plague (1665) closely followed by the devastating Great Fire of London in 1666. Starting just a few minutes’ walk away from Marlyn Lodge in Pudding Lane, the fire thankfully spared the streets immediately around Portsoken Street. The Monument to the Great Fire of London is a popular tourist attraction (10 min walk away or Monument tube station) offering superb panoramic views of the city.
Portsoken Street is also on the doorstep of the Whitechapel district of the city. The area is synonymous with the notorious "Whitechapel Murders" (1888 - 1891) committed by the infamous and mysterious serial killer Jack the Ripper. These Victorian crimes have fascinated people ever since, and Jack the Ripper tours of the area are a very popular tourist attraction; a short 10 minute walk from Marlyn Apartments.
But perhaps the most celebrated historical site nearby is the Tower of London. Just 5 minutes away, this historic castle was built by William the Conqueror in 1078 and has played an important role in English history ever since. Throughout its history it has been a royal residence, treasury, armoury, and the home of the Royal Mint. Indeed, the tower today remains the home of the Crown Jewels which alone make it a very popular tourist draw. But most famously, the tower was used as a prison whose inmates include Guy Fawkes, Sir Walter Raleigh and the Kray Twins. It is also where the likes of Anne Boleyn and Lady Jane Grey met their sticky end.
Visitors to Marlyn apartments enjoy having the city's history literally on their doorstep. And we would always recommend a visit to the nearby Museum of London (nearest tube: St Paul's / Barbican) to any guest. The museum brilliantly presents the history of London, from ancient times to the present day, with an entertaining mixture of original artefacts, multimedia displays and reconstructed interiors / street scenes.