MPEE 1/25 Map of London 1560s by Ralph Agas

Have a look at the map showing London as it looked during the reign of Elizabeth I. Queen Elizabeth owned many palaces and castles around London and spent most of her time here.

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  • Describe the city – does it look like a quiet place or a crowded place?
  • What types of buildings can you see?
  • What was the River Thames used for?

By the end of Elizabeth I’s reign, the population of London was 200,000. London was the largest city in England by far. It was a busy, bustling city full of noise and smells and disease. Most people who lived here were poor and life was a constant struggle. There were no holidays for the poor (other than holy days marked by the Church). Entertainment had to be cheap or free. Games of football, dancing, listening to music, bear-baiting and bull-baiting were popular pastimes.

  • Can you spot any evidence of popular entertainment on the map?
  • What sorts of noises would you expect to hear in Tudor London?