Here at East End Tours we have an interest in all things London. On a daily basis we take visitors from the UK and abroad around the capital on a variety of London tours sharing with them the extraordinary, thought provoking and occasionally creepy history of our fair capital.
Though there are landmarks and attractions in London which everyone has heard of, Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace to name a few, as well as moments in history, The Blitz, The Great Fire of London and others which everyone is familiar with, there are a few little factoids about the city which you may be unaware of! So, for your reading pleasure, we have compiled a few of the eccentric lesser known facts about London!
- More people have been killed by the monument to the Great Fire of London than were killed by the actual tragedy; records show only around 6 people lost their lives to the flames, while more than a dozen have fallen or jumped from the monument.
- Given that London is notorious for its traffic it only seems fitting that the first traffic light in the world was erected here. It was put up in 1868 outside the House of Commons; unfortunately it exploded the following year.
- In 1811, London became the first city in the world to reach a population of over 1 million. Also, it was considered the largest city in the world until 1957 when Tokyo overtook it.
- Though widely considered a massive financial flop when it was built, the Millennium Dome (now the 02 arena) remains the largest structure of its kind in the world.
- It is illegal to die within the Palace of Westminster, otherwise known as the Houses of Parliament. We are unsure what the punishment for such a crime would be…
- Hitler, if he had successfully captured London, planned to dismantle Nelsons Column and rebuild it in Berlin.
- Somewhat ironically, more than half of the London Underground actually runs above ground.
- There is a law still in place which means it is forbidden to impersonate a Chelsea Pensioner in London. The penalty is said to be death…
- All London Black Cab Drivers must pass a test known simply as, The Knowledge. First introduced in 1865 it has changed little since then and involves memorising 320 tried and tested routes, over 25,000 street names and nearly 20,000 places of local interest.
- There is a sign just before Albert Bridge which instructs marching columns of troops to break step, lest the rhythm of their boots damage the bridge with their vibrations.
If our little list of facts has piqued your interest, then join us on one of our daily London
tours. Our enthusiastic guides will show you the side of London less travelled complete with fun historical facts, local folklore and stories. Full details, as well as contact and booking information can be found on our website!