Archive for the ‘London’s secret sights’ Category

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London Bridge Spike

On the south side of London Bridge (not Tower Bridge) there’s a 16m tall concrete spike which most people don’t even see as they dash to cross the bridge to get to The City for work. It is to remind us of the tarred heads on spikes that were displayed here up until 1678. If […]

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Dinosaurs in Crystal Palace

After the 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park the glass exhibition hall was dismantled and moved to this south London location and the park was landscaped by Sir Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace Company between 1852 and 1855. As part of this transformation, and to leave a lasting legacy in the area, sculptures of extinct animals […]

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Philpot Lane Mice Sculpture

When you visit The Sky Garden, do walk along Philpot Lane and look for what many call the smallest permanent sculpture in London. You’ll have to look up to see the Philpot Lane Mice as they are fixed higher than eye level but once you spot them you’ll wonder how so many people walk past […]

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Auto-Icon of Jeremy Bentham

Did you know there’s a university building in central London that has a dead body on display all year round? You can go to see it even if you are not a student as Jeremy Bentham is a bit of a tourist attraction. Jeremy Bentham had already died when UCL (University College London) opened but […]

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Barbican Conservatory

Unknown to many regular visitors to the Barbican Centre, there is London’s second largest conservatory within the complex housing over 2,000 exotic plants and trees, plus birds and even fish. Even less known is the fact it is open to the public and free to visit. Brutalism and botany come together in harmony at the […]

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Dead Parrot Sculpture in Greenwich

In the garden of Devonport House hotel in Greenwich (next door to the National Maritime Museum) there is a sculpture that most people miss. It is on the corner of Romney Road and King William Walk and is on the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site. Look inside the railings and there it is, in a […]

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Secret Door in British Museum

The Enlightenment Gallery at The British Museum is just off The Great Court and is Room 1 on the museum map. This room was built between 1823 and 1827 to house The King’s Library – a royal collection of over 60,000 books belonging to King George III which were donated to the nation by his […]

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London’s secret sights – some attractions you never knew were there

Jeremy Bentham’s skeleton In the South Cloisters of the main building of London ‘s University College stands a cabinet containing the clothed skeleton of philosopher and reformer Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832). (The head you see is actually Bentham’s wax-covered skull.) The cabinet used to contain Bentham’s entire mummified body, but his corpse didn’t cooperate andhe decayed. […]

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