London is full of curiosities. Who knew that beneath the Albert Memorial lies an undercroft resembling a church crypt? Or that there are catacombs under Camden? Who would expect to find a lighthouse in East London, sphinxes in South London, dummy houses in West London, or a huge bust of film director Alfred Hitchcock in North London?
How many of those who walk past Cleopatra’s Needle pause to consider why a 3,000-year-old Egyptian monument stands beside the Thames? How many know that what was once London’s smallest police station can be seen in Trafalgar Square? Or that pineapples are used in the architectural design of so many buildings? Or why there are memorials to the ‘Mayflower’ and Pilgrim Fathers in Rotherhithe?
These are just a few of the facets explored, described and illustrated here for anyone in search of the oddly obscure, wonderfully weird and surprisingly strange in this capital of curiosities.
I saw this book earlier in the week and as I was on annual leave from work I treated myself and it arrived the next day for me to read. I was really keen to get on with it and started it one evening and finished it the next, and I thought it was fabulous!!
The book is nice and bright, very well laid out and full of weird and quirky things that you can find when you are out and about in London, as well as curiosities that will peak your interest too as to why they are there and how they came to be about.
I do love reading books like this and whilst I was aware, and have seen a few of the things mentioned in the book, there was plenty in the book that was new to me and I now have a list of things that I will definitely be looking out for on my next trip down to London.
It is 5 stars from me for this one, I loved the layout, there was plenty of photos which helped bring the book and the different “curiosities” to life.
I loved the touch at the end of the listing of the postcodes of where they are based so you can check them out too – I do love books like this – very highly recommended!