London used to run on horse transport; in fact, it’s a cliche to say that traffic moves as slow now as it did before the age of the motorcar. And all those horses have left their mark in various ways. We love horses - hope you do, too.

Any comments - or a suggestion for a London secret? Please e-mail me.


Constitution Arch

The huge bronze quadriga on top of the Wellington Arch was put up in 1912 and is the largest bronze in Europe. Designed by Adrian Jones, it shows the angel of peace descending on the chariot of war. The face of the charioteer was the 11-year-old son of Lord Michelham, who funded the sculpture.

Hyde Park Corner SW1
Tube: Hyde Park Corner

Physical Energy

George Frederick Watts, RA, was one of the foremost painters of his time but did little sculptural work because of an allergy to plaster. This massive bronze, another casting of which forms the Rhodes Memorial in Cape Town, was put here in 1908. He was responsible for Postman’s Park.

Kensington Gardens W8
Tube: South Kensington

Jacob The Cart Horse

This wonderful life-size dray was lifted into place near the south end of Tower Bridge by helicopter in 1987 to  mark the work done in the docks by horses. He is near the site of the former stables of the Horseleydown Brewery, founded by John Courage in 1787. St John Horseleydown was a former nearby parish.

Queen Elizabeth Street SE1
Tube: Tower Hill

Sand Bin

Used to keep the streets clean of manure, give grip in icy weather and up hills, or deaden the sounds of iron-shod cart-wheels outside the home of the sickly, these boxes were a common fixture in the horse-drawn 19th-century. This last survivor was restored in 1945, after being hit by a WWII bomb.

Temple Place WC2
Tube: Temple


This 5m-high bronze horse by Judy Boyt was commissioned by Standard Life and sits high on East India House, looking down on Petticoat Lane market. It was awarded the RBS silver medal in 1993. Boyt specialises in animals and her work is much in demand in the rich world of horse-racing.

Middlesex Street E1
Tube: Liverpool Street

Sienna Buildings

Several fine horses for the price of one on this frontage in London’s famed jewellery centre. Called ‘Palio Horses’, they are by Guy Portelli RBA who once worked in the BBC Special Effects department. He went on TV’s Dragon’s Den to raise money for his latest ‘Pop Icons’ show.

47 Hatton Garden EC1
Tube: Chancery Lane

Yorkshire Grey

Two horses for the price of one, with the attractive relief of a Scots Grey cavalryman. Lord Lucan (before he disappeared) was a regular while using a nearby bookie and one corner of the pub is a memory to those early 70s. This pub actually now has a reputation for very fine food.

29-33 Grays Inn Road WC1
Tel: +44 (0)20 7583 3443
Tube: Chancery Lane

The Horse Hospital

Built in 1797, The Horse Hospital is a unique arts venue in Bloomsbury, which retains original features such as entrance by horse ramp, tethering rings, cast iron pillars and a cobbled floor. Don’t send them any sick horses, though.

30 Colonnade WC1

Tel: +44 (0)20 7833 3644
Tube: Russell Square

Unilever House

Overlooking Blackfriars Bridge is the neo-Classical Unilever House of 1931 by architect J Lomax Simpson. Two powerful equestrian groups in Art Deco style by William Reid Dick dominate the exterior. Dick also sculpted the eagle on the RAF Monument on the Victoria Embankment.

100 Victoria Embankment EC4
Tube: Blackfriars


Sterling, Dollar & Yen

These one and a half times life-size bronzes are outside the headquarters of the London Underwriting Centre, the hub of London’s financial services industry. Sculptor Althea Wynne is a keen rider and her love of horses shows through clearly. She is also influenced by classical art, especially Etruscan.

Minster Court EC3
Tube: Tower Hill