The A-Z of Curious London
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Spooky, gruesome, weird but true things about one of the world's greatest cities come alive in The A-Z of Curious London. Discover London's tiniest house, a 4,000-year-old mouse made from Nile clay, and have a giggle at things people leave on London's transport (including false teeth, a human skull and a park bend - yes, really). Why did a dentist keep his dead wife on view in a shop window? Where did a shopkeeper murder 150 customers? Which Queen showed her bosom to an Ambassador? Why was a man arrested for wearing a top hat? In the City proper, why is no thoroughfare called a road? To sum up, eccentri, legends, folklore, murders, scandals, ghosts, incredible characters and oodles of wow factor, it's all here.
they will not go near the area after nightfall. In 1864, a soldier whose post was guarding the Queen’s House at the Tower, saw an apparition so real that he ignored soldiers’ challenges and charged the intruder with his bayonet, only to travel straight through the figure. He was found unconscious on the spot and was court-martialled for neglecting his duty. Luckily, there were two witnesses to corroborate his story and the soldier was eventually acquitted. Helmet of Henry VIII, on display at
son, Edward VI. BUCKINGHAM HOUSE: SCENE OF SUFFRAGETTES AND GANDHI’S LOIN-CLOTH After the Norman Conquest, the site of Buckingham House was passed to Geoffrey de Mandeville, who donated it to the monks of Westminster Abbey. It is thought that the first house to be erected on the site belonged to Sir William Blake. Previously known as Goring House and Arlington House, it was named Buckingham House after the eighteenth-century Tory politician, John Sheffield (3rd Earl of Mulgrave and Marquess of
to understand them. For instance, ‘face’ would be replaced by ‘boat’, because face rhymes with ‘boat race.’ Similarly, ‘feet’ would be ‘plates’, for ‘plates of meat’. Sometimes the full phrase is used, for instance ‘currant bun’ meaning the ‘sun’. If someone mentions ‘daisies’, they are referring to their boots – ‘daisy roots’. Some common phrases are: ‘apples and pears’ – stairs ‘Barnet Fair’ – hair ‘dog and bone’ – phone ‘butcher’s hook’ – look ‘I got to me mickey, climbed the apples and
OTHER URINARY DISEASES) St Peter’s Hospital was founded in 1860, in a house at 42 Great Marylebone Street, now 34 New Cavendish Street. Up until then, there was no specialist hospital for urological illnesses. Its purpose was described as, ‘The relief of the poor suffering from stone and other urinary diseases, both as In- and Out-patients’. The pamphlet listed twenty-four beds available for men, two for women and six beds in the paying ward. It also stated that no letter of recommendation was
railway station was opened, so people were able to commute between the spa and London. The new railway line made the spa a fashionable resort with the idea of ‘taking the waters’ for medical purposes growing ever more popular. THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP This one-time dairy, on an estate given by King Charles II to one of his mistresses, is the likely inspiration for Charles Dickens’ novel The Old Curiosity Shop, although it is unlikely this can be proved for certain. Built in the 1560s, the shop