21 Jun 7 old stories you did not know about London
London has a long and incredible history. A lot of things has been forgotten with the time, and we are here to remind you some points of London’s history that you probably do not know! Here are 7 stories you probably did not know about London!
1- The Time Capsule in Cleopatra’s Needle
Not only the Cleopatra’s Needle based along the Thames River has a long and strange history but it also contains a Time Capsule that is in there since 1891. Bringing the monument to the City has been a long travel, (read the whole story here ). When it finally arrived in London, the government decide to let a Time Capsule for the next generations. Here is a list of things that are supposed to be in the capsule: a portrait of Queen Victoria, a translation of the hieroglyph inscriptions that are on the obelisk, 10 newspapers, a baby’s bottle, a copy of the bible in several languages, a box of cigars, the written story of the strange travel from Egypt to London, a portrait of the ideal woman at the time, etc.
( all details here )
2- The British Museum Station
This is probably the most famous ghost story that haunts London’s undergrounds. The station opened in 1900 and closed in 1933 because of the Holborn station’s extension. The story says that Amen’s Ra, an Egyptian mummy that is conserved at the British Museum, is haunting the station since the construction of this one. It says that late at night she screams and roars until Holborn Station. In 1935, two women at Holborn Station disappeared, and some marks of them were found at the closed gate of the British Museum Station. Oddly, it was the night of the released of a movie based on this haunted story. Still today, people are claiming to hear moaning around the station. This story became so known that the newspapers were offering a reward for anyone who would spend the night there, no one did.
3- The House of Commons and the Queen
The Queen has no right to come inside the House Of Commons. Indeed, it is a law that was created during the 17th century under the reign of King Charles I. The thing is that the government wanted to avoid the tyranny, and since the Monarch is not a Commoner, and that the government is independent from the monarchy since the Civil War, Queens or Kings are not allowed to step in the Parliament.
4- White Chapel Dead Bodies train : The old myths
This is only a legend, nothing had been proved since then but it has been a while since this tale haunts London’s tube. The story is supposed to take place in the late 18th century. The Victorian Age was a time where London has underwent hard living issues. Poor people suffered from diseases due to the lack of hygiene, the lack of spaces and the tough work conditions. The Royal London Hospital that was based in White chapel was overcrowded, such as the morgues and the burial parlours. It has been said that there was a train line in the underground that went from the Royal London Hospital in White chapel to an unknown place, this train was supposed to carry all the dead bodies. The tale does not mention any place to where the dead bodies could have been brought, but the question is, what did they do with these bodies?
(all details here)
5- Harrods : the welcoming present!
In 1916, Harrods used to sell a special kit for people at the front. If you wanted to make a special gift to your friend who was fighting for his country, you had to go to Harrods. Indeed, this huge and luxurious shop used to sell ‘’A Welcoming present for Friends at the front’’ that contains syringes, cocaine, morphine and needles.
6- The truth about The Plague Pits
The Plague started in Europe around 1346 and it killed around 200 millions of European. In the 17th century, the Plague hits London again and reduced its population of 15% in just two years (1665 and 1666). The fact is that the plague was so contagious that even dead bodies had to be buried deep or incinerate. The lack of place in London’s cemetery was a huge problem at the time and so a tale went out of it: pits. Indeed, the dead bodies were supposed to be buried in pits in all around London. BBC says that ‘An estimated total of 7.403 bodies were exhumed at the time’. It has been a sort of rumour since last august, when archaeologist found around 43 skeletons underneath Liverpool Street Station. The skeletons are so damaged that we can barely know the exact origins of their disease but scientist claimed that it is mostly the plague and the syphilis. The scary tale around those death pits was that it could have influenced the construction of the Tube’s Lines. Unfortunately, the London’s Underground services never confirmed that supposition.
Nowadays, we have very little evidence about the emplacements of those pits and their origins but the skeletons founds in Liverpool Street could be a proof that this secret will no longer remains.
7- The Great Fire
In September 1666, during 4 entire days, London burnt down (some parts of the city kept on burning for months but the worst of the destruction was finally over). We know that you probably already heard about it but here are some numbers that will get your attention for sure. Almost 80.000 of houses burnt down but only six people died. The thing is that we cannot exactly know the number of death since poor and middle class people weren’t recorded. At the time, the Great Fire destroyed ⅚ of the city and it cost more than 1 million of pounds to build the City again. You could see the fire 50 miles away from the city, some people living in Oxford claimed that they had seen the blaze. It took around 50 years to build all the city back and the conditions of living were awful until 1687 (21 years after the Great Fire), the floor of the city was so hot that no one’s could walk on it for few weeks.
(All details here)
Tell us if you know other secrets from London’s history and if you enjoy those ones! With FG Properties we can find you a stunning apartment in the heart of this incredible City for you to know more about its history!