Dating england in south west
With the collapse of Roman rule in the early 5th century, London ceased to be a capital, and the walled city of Londinium was effectively abandoned, although Roman civilisation continued in the St Martin-in-the-Fields area until around 450.
It was an area of political and geographical control imposed by the Viking incursions which was formally agreed by the Danish warlord, Guthrum and the West Saxon king Alfred the Great in 886.
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that Alfred "refounded" London in 886.
Winchester had previously been the capital of Anglo-Saxon England, but from this time on, London became the main forum for foreign traders and the base for defence in time of war.
In the view of Frank Stenton: "It had the resources, and it was rapidly developing the dignity and the political self-consciousness appropriate to a national capital." In the 12th century, the institutions of central government, which had hitherto accompanied the royal English court as it moved around the country, grew in size and sophistication and became increasingly fixed in one place.
By about 680, it had revived sufficiently to become a major port, although there is little evidence of large-scale production of goods.
For most purposes this was Westminster, although the royal treasury, having been moved from Winchester, came to rest in the Tower.While the City of Westminster developed into a true capital in governmental terms, its distinct neighbour, the City of London, remained England's largest city and principal commercial centre, and it flourished under its own unique administration, the Corporation of London.
During the Tudor period the Reformation produced a gradual shift to Protestantism, and much of London property passed from church to private ownership, which accelerated trade and business in the city.But the reach of English maritime enterprise hardly extended beyond the seas of north-west Europe.The commercial route to Italy and the Mediterranean Sea normally lay through Antwerp and over the Alps; any ships passing through the Strait of Gibraltar to or from England were likely to be Italian or Ragusan.By the 11th century, London was beyond all comparison the largest town in England.Westminster Abbey, rebuilt in the Romanesque style by King Edward the Confessor, was one of the grandest churches in Europe.At its height in the 2nd century, Roman London had a population of around 60,000.