London’s Five Historical Streets

London 5

Esin Huseyin Header

Posted 30/03/15
By Esin Huseyin

Well this ones a bit of a cheat as it’s historical things on certain streets – I guess that makes the street famous?

Since reading Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, I’ve been opening my eyes to the things that I would usually bypass. Here are some of my favourites I’ve come across recently.

Gas Lamp

This particular gas lamp is a Webb Patent sewer ventilating one, which is one of the last remnants from the Victorian era. It was designed to burn off methane from the sewers – they slowly became eradicated due to the unpleasant smells it released and the unpredictable explosions due to methane build up. It’s located on Carting Lane, WC2.


Wooden Block Paving

The last surviving wood paving; these started appearing due to the quieter nature of the material under the iron-rimmed wagons. However, it soon became quite hard to keep clean, and absorbed all of the smells (imagine all that horse poo). Not to mention, it took such skill that it became almost obsolete.


The Golden Boy of Pye

This little chubby fellow marks the one mile disaster zone of the Great Fire of London in 1666. The fire started in monument, and was believed to be a punishment due to their gluttony. The golden boy was made even chubbier to reinforce the moral of the tale.


Fake Houses

During the 1860’s the population boomed and the city became even more over crowded. Throw that in to the mix of train pollution and you have yourself a row of fake houses. North of Bayswater Road, these houses allowed a cover for passing trains to cast off steam and smoke.


Water Pump

This particular pump on Broadwick Street was the original pump which caused/fuelled the outbreak of cholera in 1854. It’s known as John Snow’s water pump, due to Mr Snow recognising that dirty water was the source of this sickness.