Stories of London | A Day of Talks

Heritage Talk Special Event
  • Venue


  • Time

    10:00 AM

  • Price

    £20 (plus booking fee)

  • Book Tickets

The Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Saviour and St Mary Overie has witnessed over 1000 years of London history.

The Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Saviour and St Mary Overie (meaning over the river) which has witnessed over 1000 years of London history and stands at the oldest crossing-point of the River Thames, at what was for many centuries the only entrance to the City of London. 

Join us for this day of talks on London history.

Further speakers to be announced soon.

Confirmed Speakers 

The Wood That Built London: A Human History of the Great North Wood | A Talk by C.J Shuler

Standing in the busy streets of South London today, it is hard to imagine that much of this suburban townscape was once a vast wood, stretching unbroken for almost seven miles from Croydon to the Thames at Deptford.

In The Wood That Built London, C.J. Schüler takes us on a journey through time, telling tales of invaders and trade guilds, map makers and soldiers, royals and working class people. From the 8th century to current conservation efforts, Schüler offers a fresh perspective on London’s history, with tales of murder, Anglo-Saxon treasure, fires, pandemics, the blitz and more along the way.

This compelling narrative history charts the fortunes of the North Wood from the earliest times: its ecology, ownership, management, and its gradual encroachment by the expanding metropolis.

C.J. Schüler is the author of three illustrated histories of cartography: Mapping the World, Mapping the City and Mapping the Sea and Stars and co-author of the best-selling Traveller’s Atlas. Writers, Lovers, Soldiers, Spies: A History of the Authors’ Club of London, 1891–2016 was published in November 2016, and Along the Amber Route (Sandstone) in 2020.

He has also written on literature, travel and the arts for The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, The Tablet, The Financial Times and the New Statesman. He was chairman of the Authors’ Club from 2008 to 2015.


In The Shadow of St. Paul's Cathedral: The Churchyard that Shaped London | A Talk by Margaret Willes

The extraordinary story of St. Paul's Churchyard-the area of London that was a center of social and intellectual life for more than a millennium

St. Paul's Cathedral stands at the heart of London, an enduring symbol of the city. Less well known is the neighbourhood at its base that hummed with life for over a thousand years, becoming a theatre for debate and protest, knowledge and gossip.

For the first time Margaret Willes tells the full story of the area. She explores the dramatic religious debates at Paul's Cross, the bookshops where Shakespeare came in search of inspiration, and the theatre where boy actors performed plays by leading dramatists. After the Great Fire of 1666, the Churchyard became the center of the English literary world, its bookshops nestling among establishments offering luxury goods.

This remarkable community came to an abrupt end with the Blitz. First the soaring spire of Old St. Paul's and then Wren's splendid Baroque dome had dominated the area, but now the vibrant secular society that had lived in their shadow was no more.

Margaret Willes, formerly publisher at the National Trust, is author of several books, including The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn, Reading Matters, and The Gardens of the British Working Class.



Everyday Life in Medieval London: From the Anglo-Saxons to the Tudors | A Talk by Toni Mount

Our capital city has always been a thriving and colourful place, full of diverse and determined individuals developing trade and finance, exchanging gossip and doing business.

But beneath the colour and pageantry lay dirt, discomfort and disease, the daily grind for ordinary folk. Like us, they had family problems, work worries, health concerns and wondered about the weather. How did the people of medieval London live and love and make this one of the world’s greatest cities?

Everyday Life in Medieval London is an Amazon Best-Seller and Goodreads ‘History Book of the Year’

Toni Mount is an author of over twenty historical fiction and non-fiction books and teaches history to adults. She's a member of the Richard III Society's Research Committee and writes regularly about Tudor and medieval history. She has produced a series of online courses for and is the author of the popular Sebastian Foxley medieval murder mystery series. Toni studied medieval medicine for her Masters Degree and has Diplomas in Literature and Creative Writing, European Humanities, and a PGCE. 


A ticket for the day allows entry to each talk and this event will take place in the Cathedral library. Books for each talk will be available to purchase from either library or Cathedral shop and your ticket entitles you to 10% off in the Cathedral Shop.  

The event will start at 10am. Doors will open at 9.45am.