The London Wall Walk follows the line of the City Wall from the Tower of London to the Museum of London. The Walk is 1¾ miles (2.8km) long and is marked by twenty-one panels which can be followed in either direction. The City Wall was built by the Romans c AD 200. During the Saxon period it fell into decay. From the 12th to 17th centuries large sections of the Roman Wall and gates were repaired or rebuilt. From the 17th century, as London expanded rapidly in size, the Wall was no longer necessary for defence. During the 18th century demolition of parts of the Wall began, and by the 19th century most of the Wall had disappeared. Only recently have several sections again become visible.
West Gate of Roman Fort
Prior to the construction of the western section of the road London Wall in 1959, excavations revealed the west gate of the Roman fort, built c AD 120. It had twin entrance ways flanked on either side by square towers.
Only the northern tower can now be seen. It provided a guardroom and access to the sentry walk along the Wall. Large blocks of sandstone formed the base, some weighing over half a ton (500kg). The remaining masonry consisted of ragstone brought from Kent. The guardroom opened on to a gravel road, which was divided into two by stone piers supporting the arches spanning the gates.
Each passage was wide enough for a cart and had a pair of heavy wooden doors.
Running northwards from the gate-tower is the fort wall, 4 feet (1.2m) thick with the internal thickening added when the fort was incorporated into the Roman city defences c AD 200. The gate was eventually blocked, probably in the troubled years of the later 4th century. By the medieval period the site of the gate had been completely forgotten.