1. Covent Garden was once a well-known red-light district

After the original fruit, veg and flower market closed down the area plunged into disrepute during the 18th century, attracting notable prostitutes such as Betty Careless and Jane Douglas   

2. You (yes you!) can be buried at Westminster Abbey despite its cemetery being full

Legend has it that if you happen to die within the walls of the famous abbey you have the right to be buried there, even though these days even kings and queens can’t fit into it’s hallowed cemetery. Choose your time wisely people.

3. In the olden days when divorce was only for the rich, you could sell your wife at Smithfield’s meat market

Unbelievable but true. Obviously wives couldn’t sell their husbands though.

4. The Bronze lions at Trafalgar Square are made out of metal melted down from the cannons of the losers (French and Spanish) of the battle of Trafalgar

5. Big Ben is the bell, not the clock or the tower

Many people assume that it’s the giant clock tower that chimes across London every hour that owns the name of Big Ben, but in actual fact it is the big loud bell inside the tower that earned the nickname. The tower, originally called the Bell Tower, was rechristened the Elizabeth Tower when our Queen Elizabeth celebrated her Diamond Jubilee (marking 60 years on the throne!)

Keep an eye out on our blog for more little known London facts, or come on one of our tours with our expert guides who can fascinate your for 3 hours with their secret London knowledge.

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