This weekend, I plotted out a 3 - 4 mile walk from London's Soho to St Paul's neighbourhoods, which brought us past about 20 really cool "Secret London" details (from this book). I'll post them here in a Notemap and then you can retrace the steps past these neat sights.
Stop #1: John Snow's Cholera Pump
The first stop, after getting out at the Tottenham Court Road tube station and wandering past Soho Square was at the intersection of Broadwick Street and Poland Street. At the corner stands this old pump, with a plaque at the base that describes its significance. It is John Snow's Cholera Pump, and it's kind of a neat one for Findery because, as this article in the Guardian described:
How often does a map change the world? In 1854, one produced by Doctor John Snow, altered it forever. In the world of the 1850s, cholera was believed to be spread by miasma in the air, germs were not yet understood and the sudden and serious outbreak of cholera in London's Soho was a mystery. So Snow did something data journalists often do now: he mapped the cases... It became apparent that the cases were clustered around the pump in Broad (now Broadwick) street.
Stop #2: Duke of Wellington's Mounting Steps
After seeing the Cholera Pump as the first site on my map, we wandered down past Piccadilly Circus and the Mall and into Waterloo Place. We stayed on the right-hand side of the split road and walked past the front door of the old gentlemen's club called The Athenaeum Club. As the book described, "outside... is a pair of kerb stones, bearing a rusty plaque: 'This horseblock was erected by desire of the Duke of Wellington 1830'... they allowed the Duke to mount and dismount from his horse with ease while visiting the Athenaeum."
Stop #3: Giro's Grave
Just a short wander from the Duke of Wellington's Mounting Steps was this next stop on our Secret London walk. The description of this one said that it was under a tree somewhere around here, so it took a bit of sleuthing before we spotted it. A tiny gravestone at the base of the tree, sealed inside a case, with a German epitaph that reads "Giro, ein treuer Begleiter! London, im Februar 1934, Hoesch," marking the grave of the dog of the German Ambassador Leopold von Hoesch who had lived next door at 9 Carlton House Terrace in the 1930's. The book clarifies that Hoesch was "openly opposed to the rise of the Third Reich" and that Giro was his "beloved Alsatian."