Visiting London will probably lead you to some of its world’s most famous sites like the Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Tate Modern, London Eye or even the highly praised London Bridge. Admittedly, the city is packed with wonderful places to visit and jaw-dropping sceneries that you’ll surely enjoy.
But did you know that there are some places in London that yields the same historical value as the above? Only they can be easily overlooked being tucked in the hidden corners of this wonderful city. These top 10 hidden historical sites in London should be included on your list the next time you visit the metropolitan of Royals. Although, keep your eyes open as they are hard to spot.
1. Hanging Signs of Lombard Street
Beyond wars and major reforms, this street has preserved 17th and 18th century style shop signs like this Cat and Fiddle Inn.
2. St. John’s Gate in Clerkenwell
It was built in 1504 as the entrance to the priory of St. John that up until now still exists as the St. John Ambulance.
3. Southwark Needlxe, London Bridge
You might not notice it but this Svelte Spike spot is situated at the end of London Bridge. This 16 meters long marker made from Portland Stone is where the heads of traitors were being impaled 400 years ago.
4. The Cat & Mutton Pub in Broadway Market
This gastropub was once famous for its pig swinging activity where locals would chase the pig, swing it around, and hurl it into the fields in exchange of a gold-laced hat.
5. Mr. Jamrach’s Tiger in Tobacco Dock, Wapping
Once owned by Charles Jamrach as an addition to his Animal Emporium, this Bengal Tiger is said to escape on the street and clamped by a brave nine-year old boy.
6. The Caffe Nero in 79 Tottenham Court Road
In 1945, a very destructive V2 rocket blast decimated much of the area and it was the only place that stood still beyond the damaging blast of the past.
7. James J. Fox Cigar Merchant in St. James’s Street
It claims to be the oldest cigar merchant in the world where Oscar Wilde and Winston Churchill would hit their puffs for longevity.
8. The Handbell of St. Sepulchre’s Church at Holborn Viaduct
Although it looks like a religious relic, it was once used as an instrument of terror. 12 tolls of this bell signals that an inmate of nearby Newgate Prison is just about to succumb to death.
9. Apothecaries’ Hall
This is London’s oldest and most magical livery hall, you can find it at Black Friars Lane EC4.
10. The Crossbones Garden in Southwark
This area was once a pauper’s burial ground but is now a shrine to the outcast dead. As seen on the brown plaque, apparently it was likewise the unconsecrated graveyard of prostitutes.
I never thought that beyond its booming industries, new sites to explore and highly technological areas, there are still hidden historical sites in London that needs to be explored. Me and my friends would love to take a peek at #3! How about you?