Here are 21 things you may not know about London


A very few cities can boast of a history rich as London. Did you know that the capital city of the United Kingdom was once the capital of six countries. While we are all aware of the Big Ben but did you know that London is also home to the tiniest statue in the world. Be it the Royal Family, Harry Potter, Harrods, Rock and roll music or the worlds favorite detective Sherlock Holmes there is just something for everyone in London. Here are 21 interesting facts that you my have not heard about London. Edward Kubi from Quora tells us.

Here are the facts, please check the sources and links if needed.
I hope you will enjoy.

21.Karl Marx drafted the Communist Manifesto in a room above the Red Lion pub on Great Windmill Street. It’s now a trendy [email protected] bar.

20.Many believe the nursery rhyme “Pop Goes the Weasel” refers to the pawning of a suit to pay for drink. “Up and down the City Road, in and out the Eagle” refers to the Eagle pub on the corner of City Road and Shepherdess Walk, which has the song lyrics on a sign outside.

19.If you see someone on a scooter with a fluorescent jacket and a large map, it could well be a prospective cabbie studying for the Knowledge exam. It normally takes between two and four years to learn it fully.

18.To pass the Knowledge, the insanely difficult London geography test required of black-cab drivers in the city, you must master 320 basic routes, all of the 25,000 streets that are scattered within those routes, and about 20,000 landmarks and places interest within a six-mile radius of Charing Cross.

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17.Voltaire, Edgar Allen Poe, Ho Chi Minh, Mahatma Gandhi, Vincent Van Gogh, Sigmund Freud, and Hiter’s older half-brother all lived in London for a time.

16.Perhaps the strangest pub name is I Am the Only Running Footmanin Mayfair.

15.Underneath the Cleopatra’s Needle on the Embankment there’s a time capsule from 1878 that’s said to contain cigars, a razor, a portrait of Queen Victoria, copies of 10 daily newspapers, and pictures of 12 “English beauties of the day”.

14.Hitler wanted to dismantle Nelson’s column and rebuild it in Berlin.

13.Before the statue of Nelson was placed on top of the 17-foot-tall column in Trafalgar Square in 1842, 14 stone masons had dinner at the top.

12.Until 1994 there were no “Road”s in the City of London, and now there’s only one, Goswell Road, which became part of the Square Mile in 1994 after boundary changes. There are plenty of Lanes, Streets, and Ways, but public paths weren’t generally referred to as roads until the 16th century.

11.Street names that sadly no longer exist include Shiteburn Lane, Pissing Alley, and more than one Gropecunt Lane, which as the name might suggest, was associated with prostitution.

10.The reading room at the British Museum is where Karl Marx wrote Das Kapital in between bouts of getting very drunk and asking Friedrich Engels to lend him more money.

9.Trident Studios, off Wardour Street, is where The Beatles made much of the White Album and David Bowie recorded Ziggy Stardust.

8.Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club on Frith Street was the site of Jimi Hendrix’s last public performance in 1970.

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7.The Coach and Horses Pub in Greek St, Soho, has been the haunt of many artists, journalists, barflies, and actors, including Tom Baker and John Hurt. Long-standing and famously irritable landlord Norman Balon called his memoirs You’re Barred You Bastards: Memoirs of a Soho Publican.

6.Great Ormond Street Hospital, off Russell Square, owns the copyright to Peter Pan and receives royalties from all associated works and performances. Author J.M. Barrie — who had no children himself — gifted the rights to the hospital in 1929.

5.Cock Lane, near Holborn Viaduct, didn’t get its name due to any association with poultry, but because it was the only street to be licensed for prostitution in medieval times.

4.Big Ben is the bell, not the clock tower. Its chime is in the key of E.

3.Many playwrights and poets are buried at Westminster Abbey. The tomb of Elizabethan poet Edmund Spenser is there and, according to historian Edward Camden, contains unpublished works by his admirers — possibly including Shakespeare — who threw poems into his grave as a tribute.

2.It is illegal to die in the Palace of Westminster.

1.The Palace of Westminster has eight bars (where prices are kept cheap, thanks to the taxpayer), six restaurants, 1,000 rooms, 100 staircases, 11 courtyards, a hair salon, and rifle-shooting range.

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