By Mel Palleschi
EFL Teacher & Social Programme Organiser @ www.ttischool.com
Anyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE all things Roman! So, when a student of mine told me that there is a Roman Amphitheatre under the Guildhall Art Gallery I nearly screamed with excitement! I immediately added it to the Social Programme calendar for October and we headed down to Moorgate station to go discover London’s ancient past. It was absolutely wonderful!
The Guildhall Art Gallery sits in an old European style piazza called Guildhall Yard with the beautiful St Lawrence Jewry Church and The Guildhall , a gorgeous medieval-style great hall. The gallery which dates back to 1886 is filled with paintings from the 1600s onwards and also features a display dedicated to portraiture.
However, the highlight for me was taking the lift downstairs to the basement level where a dark corridor leads you to the most amazing, jaw-dropping underground treat, The Roman Amphitheatre! The exhibition starts with some information about the history of this Roman London ruin and the corridor leads you into a large room where the walls of the Amphitheatre outline the perimeters. Directly in front you is a large black screen with gladiator holograms projected onto the back wall helping to recreate the atmosphere of an ancient stadium.
I would highly recommend this whole experience and visit the church as well on your way out. We caught an organ player there and it was great!