WELCOME       WALKS       TRIVIA       THEMES       ARCHITECTURE       STATUES       GOING OUT
SHOPPING       TAKE A BREAK      PEOPLE      CALENDAR       LINKS       BLOG      CONTACT

 

Wandering around London, you will see all sorts of things that are often worth a second look once you know their story. Other oddities, like part of the Berlin Wall (one of the last things you might expect to see in London) are tucked away in unexpected corners.

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

Other Oddities

The Panyer Boy

‘When ye have sought the citty round yet this is still the highest ground.’ This alley was once the centre of London’s bakeries and said (wrongly) to be its highest point. This boy on his breadbasket has been hereabouts since 1688 and now sits just beside
St Paul's Tube Station.

Panyer Alley EC4
Tube: St Paul's

Thames Lions

These lion heads line both sides of the Embankment, staring out over the River Thames. Their mouths hold mooring rings and it is said that if the lions drink, London will flood. They were sculpted by Timothy Butler for Bazalgette’s great sewage works in 1868-70.

Albert & Victoria Embankments
Tube: Westminster

Tower Bridge chimney

Is this the only bridge in the world with a chimney? Millions of visitors cross Tower Bridge every year but few notice this cast iron chimney painted to blend in with the lamp-posts. It’s a flue for a former guardhouse under one of the bridge piers, facing the Tower of London.

Tower Bridge EC1
Tube: Tower Hill

St Bride’s Church

There’s been a church here since the 6th century and the present lovely one, the church of the press and printing trades, was designed by Sir Christopher Wren. Its greatest claim to fame is its three-tiered spire, Wren’s highest and the model for all wedding cakes.

Fleet Street EC4
Tube: St Paul's/Blackfriars
www.stbrides.com

Berlin Wall

Three sections of the Berlin Wall stand outside the National Army Museum (there is another piece inside and also outside the Imperial War Museum). ‘Die Mauer’ was torn down in 1989 and these pieces, weighing nine tonnes, were moved here by the Royal Logistical Corps.

National Army Museum
Royal Hospital Road SW3
Tube: Sloane Square

Pet Cemetery

The first burial here was in the 1880s of Cherry, the pet terrier of Mr and Mrs Bernard. The Duke of Cambridge (1819-1904), commander-in-chief of the army, and after whom many English pubs are named, buried his wife’s dog Prince here, starting a fashion that lasted until space ran out in 1915 after 300 burials.

Victoria Lodge, Hyde Park
Tube: Lancaster Gate

South Bank Lion

Originally a logo for a brewery, this lion stood outside a pub that was flattened in the Blitz before moving here to the south side of Westminster Bridge, at the request of the King. Made from a secret process called Coade stone, it is a casting rather than carving.

Westminster Bridge
Tube: Waterloo/Westminster

The Seven Noses of Soho

Around Soho there are seven noses and it is said that if you spot all of them you will attain infinite wealth. Sculptor Rick Buckley was responsible for many, leaving casts of his nose in 1997. However, this one is more recent, dating to a ‘Living Streets’ social awareness project in 2005.

Meard Street W1
Tube: Leicester Square

Nelson’s Spare Nose

This pink nose on Admiralty Arch (look inside the arch taking traffic out of The Mall) is said to be a spare for Nelson in Trafalgar Square, or a tribute to the Duke of Wellington, famous for his large nose. However, it is one of the original 35 noses put up by artist Rick Buckley in a 1997 protest against CCTV.

Trafalgar Square WC2
Tube: Charing Cross

^Drink_Fountains.html