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K2 Phone Box

The K2 (Kiosk No. 2) was the winning design by architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in a competition organised by the Royal Fine Art Commission in 1926. Made of cast iron, it had 18 individual panes of glass on three sides. There are just over 200 K2s left in London, all - like this one - now with preservation orders.

West Smithfield EC1

Originally a ’smooth field’ on the edge of the City, popular for jousting and other games, Smithfield was turned into a meat market in 1855. It was also a place of execution: Scottish patriot William Wallace was killed here in 1305.

Tube: St Paul’s/Barbican

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Smithfield 1 2

The Golden Boy
Of Pye Corner

The Golden Boy marks the extent of the Great Fire of London in 1666. The fire, which started at The Monument, a mile away, ‘was ascribed to the sin of gluttony... and the boy was made prodigiously fat to enforce the moral.’ The statue probably once marked a clothing shop.

Giltspur Street EC1

First Drinking Fountain

This, London’s very first public drinking fountain, dates to 1859 when Samuel Gurney MP set up The Metropolitan Drinking Fountain Association to provide free water and thus discourage alcohol. Like many, it was sited opposite a pub. Set into the railings of
St Sepulchre’s Church, it still has two cups on chains.

Giltspur Street EC1

Viaduct Tavern

Opened in 1869, the same year as the nearby Holborn Viaduct (the world’s first flyover, opened by Queen Victoria herself), this is a rare example of the infamous  Victorian gin palace. A large frontage hides an oddly small interior, all gilt mirrors, engraved glass and snugs. Note the beaten copper ceiling and ornate columns.

126 Newgate Street EC1

The Watch House

This watch house was built overlooking the churchyard of St Sepulchre’s in the 17th century. The only legal source of bodies for medical study was those of executed murderers. Grave robbers supplied a need for the nearby St Bart's - England’s oldest surviving hospital - and families would pay for fresh corpses to be watched over.

Giltspur Street EC1

St Sepulchre

St. Sepulchre-without-Newgate is the largest parish church in the City and its tower dates to 1450. Named after the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, its 12 bells - made in 1739 - are ‘The Bells of Old Bailey’ in the nursery rhyme. John Smith, of Pocahontas fame, is buried here. It is the National Musicians' Church.

Giltspur Street EC1
www.st-sepulchre.org.uk

Peace Memorial Fountain

This statue was put here in 1870 by The Metropolitan Drinking Fountain Association. The bronze figure of Peace is by John Birnie Philip (1824-1875) - more famous for his work on the Albert Memorial.  The matching statues of Temperance, Faith, Hope and Charity have long gone.

West Smithfield EC1

Cattle Trough

The Metropolitan Drinking Fountain Association became The Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association in 1867 when it started offering cattle troughs. Livestock was still arriving on foot in Smithfields meat market - not to mention the number of horses on the street - so there was a real animal welfare need.

Smithfield EC1

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Florin Court

Opened in 1936, the undulating exterior of this apartment block is familiar as the home of TV detective Hercules Poirot. A roof garden and Art Deco-style swimming pool in the basement make up for the fact it has some of the smallest flats in London. 

Charterhouse Street, EC1
Tube: Barbican/Farringdon

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Charterhouse

A monastery in 1370, then bought by Thomas Sutton – the wealthiest commoner in England – in 1611 from the Earl of Suffolk, who set up housing for poor gentlemen and a school, immortalised by ex-resident William Thackeray in his books. Stroll the courtyards and soak in the Tudor atmosphere.

Charterhouse Square EC1
Tel: +44 (0)20 7251 5002