London has some world-famous landmarks – Big Ben, the London Eye, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, just to name a few.
People come from far and wide to see the sites and get them ticked off the bucket list, but us Londoners have more local and unknown landmarks.
From strange statues to even stranger architecture, with London’s vast history there were bound to be some bizarre things dotted around the capital.
Is there something strange near you? Perhaps no one knows what it is? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your weird stories of London.
‘Animal on a Tricycle’ statue in Bromley
A piece of art in Bromley’s St Mark’s Square has caused quite a lot of controversy – but it’s no doubt a local landmark.
It looks a bit like a headless animal riding a bike, but sadly it’s being used as a rubbish bin and one local said it ‘looks like a load of old trunk’ – but at least it’s memorable.
One other quirk of the modern work of art – it doesn’t have a name.
The Southwark Needle
Right by London Bridge station is this weird sculpture that looks like a skinny pyramid jutting out at and angle.
Southwark Council intended for it to be part of a gateway to the borough and a larger visitor centre, but this was never completed so the needle just stands there alone with no purpose.
It makes a good meeting point for those wanting to go for after work drinks though.
It stands out a bit from the rest of the area, but was left to remind locals of what their town used to be – farmland.
Ashby’s Mill was built in 1816 and continued to be in operation until WWII, then opened to the public in 1968.
Now you can even take part in a milling training session – only true Brixtoners will be able to have that feather in their cap.
Pinner’s floating coffin
Yeah, it’s really weird.
In the graveyard of St John the Baptist’s church a strange triangular stone stands tall amongst the normal gravestone, and poking out the pyramid is a tomb.
Inscribed upon either side of this floating coffin are the names of the couple the monument is dedicated to – William and Agnes Loudon.
Duke of Wellington’s mounting block
Tourists would definitely walk past this one, too busy gazing up at the famous landmarks around them, but there’s a small slab of concrete on the ground on Waterloo Place.
It’s basically the London’s first disabled parking space – the Duke of Wellington had it installed to help elderly gentlemen mount and dismount their horses.
The Cross Bones Graveyard
There are a lot of graveyards across London but this one’s a bit different, which is why it’s become somewhat of a landmark for those in the know.
It was unconsecrated land left to be a ‘single women’s’ cemetery – meaning many prostitutes were buried there.
Today the graveyard is filled with ribbons and flowers to commemorate the group of women so totally abandoned by their own society.
The Uxbridge crosses
Dotted around Uxbridge’s street are white marking on the floor that resemble a windmill’s sails – including one at the junction of Grove Road and another on the high street close to Lloyds Bank.
It’s not known for sure what they are, but suggestions have included survey markings, messages for bank robberies and simply just graffiti.
Whatever they are, it’s got locals talking.
Jamrach’s Tiger Statue
Most locals will know the incredible story behind this statue of a tiger about to swat a little boy with its paw.
A man named Charles Jamrach had a shop in Wapping that sold exotic animals including elephants, alligators and tigers. One of the tigers managed to escape and wander down to Tobacco Dock, leaving most running for their lives.
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There was one young boy however who tried to stroke the tiger, who struck the child with its paw and picked him up in his mouth.
The boy was eventually released unharmed, and the statue was made to commemorate the bizarre event.
Another windmill – and it looks just like the one in Brixton.
Set in a quiet residential area off Postmill Close, this 175 year old landmark could be easily missed.
Although it hasn’t worked since about 1890, most of the original machinery is still in place and has been restored, so you can go and visit it and get a tour of how a flour mill worked in Victorian times.