5 places to understand London's history

1) London Wall

The London Wall was built by the Romans between AD 190 and 225. Outside the Museum of London there are some visible remains of the wall that once encircled the old City.

part of the historical London Wall

EC2Y 5HN, City

2) Electric Avenue

This street in Brixton was built in the 1880s and was among the first in Britain to be lit by electricity. Today it’s partly the location of the Brixton food market. In 1983 it was the subject for an electro-reggae hit by Eddy Grant.

street sign Electric Avenue

SW9 8JP, South

3) Brewer Street Car Park

This wonderful art-deco car park, built in 1929 and still in use today, is one of the earliest examples of a ramped multi-storey car park. During the 1950s and 60s it was apparently a location for shady payoffs to the police from the local red-light industry. More recently the car park has hosted the London Fashion Week, and has been used for art installations.

4) Pudding Lane

This small and unremarkable-looking street was where the devastating Great Fire of London of 1666 started inside Thomas Farriner’s bakery. It quickly spread, raging for two days and gutting most of medieval London including St Paul’s Cathedral. Today a plaque marks the spot where the bakery stood. The street is said to be named after the offal (pudding) that fell off butcher’s carts into the lane.

the Monument on Pudding Lane

EC3R 8AB, City

5) St John's Gate

This impressive brick and stone gate was built in 1504 as the entrance to the Priory of the Knights of St John, one of few remnants of London’s monastic past. In the early 18th century painter William Hogarth lived here. Today it houses the Museum of the Order of St John.

 St John's Gate

St John’s Lane, Clerkenwell

Suggestions?

Want to share new hidden secrets in your hometown? Are you the author of the next hot city guide? Or do you want to team up in some other way? We look forward to hearing from you!

Contribute