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Ten facts you didn't know about London landmarks

14 January 2014 Caspar Read time: 2 min
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Facts from London landmarks. To see the picture in full, click on the picture and zoom in.

Tower of London


Image credit: Rudolf Schuba Image credit: Rudolf Schuba


Fact: In the 13th century, the Tower of London was also home to a polar bear. The polar bear, a gift to the King, would be led from the tower and tied to the Thames riverbank where it would be allowed to swim, fish for food and wash itself. An unusual sight indeed for unsuspecting Londoners!

Big Ben


Image credit: Andre Zehetbauer Image credit: Andre Zehetbauer


Fact: The clock’s time is adjusted every year with an old British penny. If the clock is fast, a penny is added to the pendulum, and if the clock is slow, one is removed.

Cutty Sark


Image credit: Garry Knight Image credit: Garry Knight


Fact: For a long time, this was the fastest ship in the world. Now, dry docked in Greenwich, it’s the only surviving tea clipper in the world.

Battersea Power Station


Image credit: Scott Wylie Image credit: Scott Wylie


Fact: Over the past 50 years, it has been an unlikely star of cover art, music videos and movies. The 1965 Beatles movie ‘Help!, the cover art for Pink Floyd’s 1977 album ‘Animals’, Take That’s music video for ‘The Flood’ and the cover art for Hawkind’s 1977 album ‘Quark, Strangeness and Charm’

Admiralty Arch


Image credit: Steve Parker Image credit: Steve Parker


Fact: There is a cement nose-shaped protrusion in the arch to the left of the central arch (when facing Trafalgar Square) and is about 7 feet (2 meters) off the ground. There are theories to why it’s there, from mocking the size of Edward VII’s nose to a snub at Napoleon, but no one knows the true reason.

Natural History Museum


Image credit: Morten Diesen Image credit: Morten Diesen


Fact: One of the most famous museums in the world, it houses over 70 million artefacts!

The Shard


Image credit: Clive Darra Image credit: Clive Darra


Fact: The 59th tallest building in the world but the tallest in Europe and one of London’s newest landmarks. 95% of the construction materials are from recycled sources.

Buckingham Palace


Image credit: Roger Fenton Image credit: Roger Fenton


Fact: The Palace has over 775 rooms, and two full-time horological conservators are employed to keep the 350 clocks and watches in the building wound up every week to make sure they’re in good working order.

The Thames


Image credit: Loco Steve Image credit: Loco Steve


Fact: There are 119 species of fish living in the Thames and it's a gruesome average that so is one dead body per week!

London Eye


Image credit: Moyab Brenn Image credit: Moyab Brenn


Fact: Despite there being only being 32 capsules, for superstitious reasons they are numbered 1 – 33. For good luck number 13 is left out.

Image credit: Michela Simoncini

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