London tales and stories

Want to know more about quirky London stuff, see inside museums, discover less well-known parts of the capital? Why not follow my blog at You can see excerpts from the most recent half a dozen posts below, but there are well over 100 more on the website.

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  • I don’t usually do much in the way of “what’s happening in London now” posts, a combination of thinking that there are plenty of other sources for this sort of info and the fact that it takes me ages to get round to writing anything (if I ever do). But the new ‘Crown to Couture’ […]
  • It’s somehow absolutely typical of london that some of the closest neighbours to George Gilbert Scott’s huge Italianate Foreign Office building is a pair of one-storey wooden swiss-style chalets – and I’d venture that these two star in more photos than their much grander neighbour. This is the Birdkeeper’s – or Duck Island – Cottage, […]
  • Look towards the Eye from St James’s Park (or vice versa), or look upriver from the Golden Jubilee Bridge and there appears to be a huge French chateau on the Westminster side, a long building with mansard roofs puncturing the skyline. (As the National Heritage listing puts it, “a vast elaborate pile with exuberant French […]
  • WHAT: Henry Fawcett Memorial WHERE: Victoria Embankment Gardens (map) BY WHOM: Mary Grant WHEN: 1886 There are numerous late Victorian statues and memorials in Embankment Gardens, the very pretty public park that occupies the land reclaimed from the Thames by Bazalgette that lies between the Adelphi and the river. Walking through there recently (admiring the […]
  • Another City church, another ancient crypt… St Olave’s Hart Street is one of the few churches to survive the Great Fire of 1666 (it was east of the main conflagration), but its good fortune didn’t outlast the Blitz – most of the windows were blown out by a nearby bomb in 1940, and in 1941 […]
  • A couple of months ago I got to look in the crypt of St Peter ad Vincula (“St Peter in chains”) the Chapel Royal within the Tower of London. Within this space is the shrine of Thomas More (canonised by Pope Pius XI in 1935), but it was a plaque on the wall that caught […]