The history of London is complicated, exciting, and rather well-known by most. Everyone can rattle off a little bit of information about Guy Fawkes, the Great Fire of London, or the more recent London bombings, but we want to take a look at some of the lesser known historical sights that you may find interesting.
The oldest survivor of the Great Fire
So you already know there was a fire that swept through London and destroyed almost everything it touched, but there is one house that stood strong against the flames thanks to its priory walls, and it is still intact today. Number 41 Cloth Fair is the oldest house in London, believed to date back to around 1597.
The Bank of England
The site itself is quite fascinating, and instrumental in the past history of London, but the bank security is stronger than you might think. The famous riots that caused chaos and damage throughout London targeted the bank with the intention of robbing it. But the bank was prepared; armed clerks stood alongside soldiers, having burnt down inkwells and turned them into bullets, and saw off the two rushes.
A contaminated pump
Aldgate Pump was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people back in the 1800’s. Once the water from the pump was confirmed to be the reason that people were falling ill, the water source was traced and found to be coming from Hampstead, passing a graveyard on its way. The decaying bodies in the ground seeped all sorts of bacteria and germs into the water, which had resulted in the deaths.
The black mark on the clock tower
St James’ Palace is a beautiful landmark, but you may not have noticed the black mark on the clock tower. It has been there since 1649, and marks the exact time that King Charles I was executed after being found guilty of treason.
You may think you know about London history, but with such a long and complicated past, there is always something new to learn. We offer two tours; one that explores the West End of London, and one that focuses on the City of London. You can download them here.