A map by Matt Brown at Londonist: In 2011, we put together a map showing the London area in Anglo Saxon times (roughly speaking, 500－1066AD). It’s pieced together from many resources, showing our guess at the roads, rivers, forests and marshland that characterised the region.
The main purpose was to highlight the many villages, hamlets and farmsteads whose names are still part of modern London. For example, the map shows ‘Wemba Lea’, the land belonging to a local chieftain by the name of Wemba. We know nothing about Mr Wemba, yet his name is familiar to millions, perhaps billions, through its continuation into our own times as Wembley. Similarly, Croydon is a corruption of Crog Dene, which meant something like ‘valley of the crocuses’.
Central London was once largely marshland. The first major Anglo Saxon settlement was Lundenwic (now Covent Garden/Aldwych). Later, King Alfred re-established a town within the old Roman walls, known as Lundenburh.
North-west London, with the ‘nose-shaped hill’ (Neasdun), Wemba Lea and the curling River Brent, which still flows through the area.
The map comes with a few caveats. We’re attempting to show a period of several hundred years in one map. Some features might not have been present for the whole of that time span, and names changed.