The Small Secrets of London
One of the oldest cities of Europe, London has had a history pierced with intrigue, war, mystery and many a trying time through its centuries. This incredible combination of factors has resulted in some interesting secrets and oddities around London that few other world capitals can claim to have. There is a whole world buried under the streets, in back alleys and right under your nose that you may not even be aware of, unless you are a local. And what we mean by that is that there are some architectural oddities and locations you would be curious about if you have a chance to take a walk around. This is a small list of some of the more interesting places you can look at:
- London’s Tiniest Home
This strange home lies at 10 Hyde Park Place, a tiny house that is barely a meter wide, dating back to 1805 that is not part of the Tyburn Convent nearby. The rumors state it was built there to bar the way to Saint George’s Graveyard at the time due to grave robbers and body snatchers during that day and age that were becoming a serious problem. Unbelievably, the tiny home actually managed to be hit with a bomb during WWII. Grant Wallace, a writer and producer was the only inhabitant of the home for a while until his passing in 2002.
- The Camden Catacombs
Although the name may seem quite intimidating, the truth is that their history is not quite as morbid as one might imagine. It was initially meant as a staging area for ponies and horses that were used to work on the 19th century railroad system in town, where they even had their own underground pool that lead to Regent’s Park. Today you can enjoy guided tours for locals and tourists if you want to visit this part of old London that still bears the tracks of that age.
- The Thin House
This is a real oddity, located on Thurloe Square over in Knightsbridge, a true example of weird architectural solutions around London. It just stands there into a slightly widening wedge that seems to look really thin on the west side of the building. The most curious thing is that there are no adjacent buildings that would explain such a wedge construction. If you can’t find it you could always ask the locals over in Knightsbridge for directions.
- The Widow’s Son Pub
There is a story connected to the pub, and it goes that a widow used to live there who awaited her sailor son to return home on Good Friday, back in the year 1824. The man asked for his mum to bake hot cross buns for him when he returns. The story says the boy never returned home, but the old lady kept on baking buns each year for many years until she passed away and the buns were found hanging off a beam when she was gone. Ever since then the place was turned into a pub and renovated back in 1848, which became a popular Royal Navy hangout where each year a sailor would add a new bun to the ones hanging off the beams.
- The Real Diagon Alley
Anyone who’s ever had the pleasure of reading or watching anything Harry Potter-related is probably aware of the magical market of Diagon Alley. Admit it, you just pictured witches and wizards walking in a crowd, musty old stores filled to the brim with books, magical trinkets and that one wand store we all remember. Well, cheer up as you can still visit the location where Diagon Alley used to be, located along St. Martin’s Lane as it happens to be a small alleyway called Goodwin’s Court. It still has a lot of that old Victorian charm, but little is known about its actual history.
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