My favorite so far is the one with four pairs of scissors and buttons found at Brick Lane at the local textile trade. It does look old but it is only 16 years old and it was made by the artist, Keith Bowler, who lived in Spitalfields for many years, designed them and had them cast locally.
He was the first of the signatories of Charles I’s Death Warrant to be executed.
Tied to a sledge he was pulled from Newgate Prison to Charing Cross. On ascending the scaffold, he refused to repent.
He was hanged with a short drop, once his body had stopped thrashing about he was cut down, and as he regained consciousness his shirt was pulled away.
The executioner then cut of his genitals, which were shown to him, then thrown into a bucket. He was held down while a red-hot metal was forced into his stomach.
While his innards were being burned in front of him, Harrison swung a punch and caught the executioner off-guard.
The embarrassed executioner lost his temper and killed Harrison.
Harrison’s head was severed, his heart cut out, and his body cut into four pieces....
Tower Bridge is full of hidden secrets, one of them is this lovely Chimney.
At first glance it just looks like one of the blue lamp posts along the Bridge, but this is a chimney connected to a room below that was once used by the Royal Fusiliers protecting the Tower of London.
To keep them warm they used the fireplace inside the guards room during their stay while protecting the Tower.
London Clean Air Act came into force on 1956 after the Great Smog of 1952...and with that many Chimneys lost their use as only smokeless fuel was aloud in urban areas.
Built in 1869, this Tavern was named after the Holborn Viaduct. The tavern, with its beautiful and ornade interior, is a typical Victorian "gin palace".The Tavern is widely reputed to be haunted. There have been reports of strange occurrences in the main bar, in which glasses mysteriously getbroken, and drinks either completely disappear or are suddenly moved. Also, it is said that the ghost of a murdered prostitude haunts the ladies toilet, watch out for the lights in the toilet fading suddenly and then going on and off at speed. More ghostly activity is said ti be found in the cellars of the Tavern.Before the tavern was built, part of the Giltspur Street Compter stood on this site. This was a prison, controlled by sheriffs, which was used mainly for holding debtos (in that time, people were sent to prison for being in debt) - THANK GOD NOT ANYMORE - and other offenders, but also for vagrants and people arrested at night (as watch houses were not allowed to keep prisoners). Some of the original cells from the Giltspur Street Compter can still be found in the basement of the tavern today. The cells are now used for storage, but at one time, they would hold up to sixteen prisioners at a time.The unfortunate prisioners would beg for food and water through the ventilation grills in the pavement outside. It is in the cellar, where these old prison cells survive, that there have been several reports of a poltergeist (a noisy and aften mischievous spirit). If you would like to see the old cells and are not too afraid of encountering "Fred" (as the poltergeist is known) a member of staff will usully offer to take you down into the ancient cellar and give you a small tour. But please, do not ask if they are busy....
People ask me if I do have a magnet field to CRAZY people with stupidy questions. My answer is: HELLS YEAH!!!!! Doesn't matter where I work, the Crazy people always comes straight to me.One day while doing Volunteer work at the British Museum a visitor asked:Visitor: Can you help me some directions please?Me: Off course, How can I help you?Visitor: Do you know how to get to that building that looks like a dildo?Me (in total disbelieve): Do you mean to Gerkin?Visitor: If is the one that looks like a dildo yes.... WHERE THIS PEOPLE COMES FROM???? And WHY THE ALWAYS FIND ME???? I will post a story a day about those encounters. Believe me....I have LOTS!!!...
Caius Gabriel Cibber was born in Germany and moved to London after completing his studies. He was not really good with money, and after gambling his and his wife’s fortune away, he ended up in the debtor’s prison across the river in the infamous Clink. Sir Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke received court permission and during the construction of The Monument Cibber was released during the day to work on his sculpture, but had to go back during the nights. The sculpture on the west panel of the pedestal, facing Fish Street Hill is one of the most interesting sculptures in the City of London. The Frieze is allegorical which means it tells us a story, which in this case is the story of destruction of London on the left and the reconstruction on the right. Each character symbolises or represents different things, so let’s start from the left side: Sitting on broken masonry, holding a sword, we have a Lady representing the CITY OF LONDON, she is on the top of a dragon that has been the symbol for the City for centuries. Behind her Father TIME is helping the City to get back up, he also has the help of Mercury representing INDUSTRY, who is holding a Caduceus – a symbol of commerce and negotiation. On the left side everyone is walking towards THE CITY. The centre character, King Charles II is dressed as a Roman Emperor, standing on a stone platform with a baton of command in his right hand as he gestures towards the personification of ARCHITECTURE. Architecture is holding a square and a compass in her left hand and the plans for the new City on her right. LIBERTY is behind her holding her cap bearing the words LIBERTAS. Another figure balances the representation of NATURE in her hands, a symbol of abundance. On the right side of King Charles II stands his brother, the Duke of York, who helped to put out the fire and is also representing VICTORY. Behind them we have two figures, JUSTICE with a coronet, and FORTITUDE with a reined lion. Beneath them ENVY gnaws on a heart and emitting fumes from her mouth. We also have some people at the back, we can see 2 scenes, on the right London is on Fire and on the left London is being rebuilt. Above it all hovering in the Sky, between foreground and background we have PLENTY and PEACE....
London is amazing. So many things going on in the City. So many people rushing around all the time. Cars. bikes. Scooters. People. People. People. Stop for a minute. Look up...Look around you...see that building you passed by 1.000 times during lunch? What is that in front of the main entrance? What the faces on the Architecture mean? Why the name? Just stop and you will discover London even more. You will find the love that the city has for its history. You will feel the stories dripping down the walls and running down the forgotten Alleys. London simply can't stop the love. You have to stop and enjoy it. Just look around.
Originally built in AD70 and then expended in AD90 – 120, London’s Roman basilica was a building unlike any other in Britain. Occupying nearly 2 hectares of land and standing at a height of up to 3 storeys high, this building was larger than the present day St Paul’s Cathedral!
The basilica acted a civic centre and housed city administrators, law courts, an assembly hall, the treasury and shrines. At its height it was also the largest building of its type north of the Alps, showing the importance of London within the Roman Empire.
The basilica also formed one side of a forum, a huge open-air square that acted as a public meeting place (similar to modern day Trafalgar Square) and housed many shops and market stalls. The forum was also a popular place for socialising and partying in Roman London!
Throughout the 2nd and 3rd centuries, numerous structural faults were identified with the buildings and a series of repairs and modifications were carried out. However, the nail in the coffin didn’t come until AD300, when both the basilica and forum were destroyed by Rome as a punishment for London supporting the rogue emperor Carausius.
Although small portions of the forum may have survived, the majority of the basilica and forum were lost into the annals of history until the construction of Leadenhall Market in the 1880s. During this building work, a large support was found which would have acted as the base of an arch in one of the basilica’s arcades. Today, these remains are housed in the basement of a barber’s shop at the corner of Gracechurch Street and Leadenhall Market.
The receptionist of the Barber's is lovely and let me go down to have a look at tge remains myself.
Absolutely amazing part of London's history....