London's Oddities

Walking through most parts of London produces puzzles – entire buildings or bits of street furniture, monuments or memorials that seem out of place, out of time or simply inexplicable. Sometimes they become so familiar we cease to notice their strangeness, sometimes we are intrigued enough to explore their stories.

The findings are collected here as ‘oddities’ – though the word has many different nuances. Some things would be odd under any circumstances, some are the work of very odd people, some are odd by being relocated in new contexts, such as a Wren spire grounded in a 1960s housing estate or a South Seas whalebone in a suburban street. Some seem odd now because of the way the world has changed around them.

So, take a seat next to Spike Milligan, discover the dead letter box used by spies in Brompton Cemetery, and dance on the grave of one of the world’s greatest clowns.
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