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19 August 2012 | By: M@

London Puzzles: The Lord Mayor's Journey

London Puzzles: The Lord Mayor's Journey

In response to our article about the lack of 'Roads' in the City of London, we received an email from 81-year old Rodney Russell, with a fiendish puzzle.

His grandmother, born in London in 1875, used to sing a song about the city, which included the following verse:

The Lord Mayor, the Lord Mayor
Went from the The Mansion House to Buckingham Palace
And never went through a street

So the question is, can you find a route that takes the Lord Mayor from his home at Mansion House (where Bank station is), to the Palace, without passing along any thoroughfares with 'Street' in their name? (We're assuming he didn't catch the Tube, although that would be a cheeky solution as the Circle/District Line could take you from Mansion House to St James's Park without encountering any stations with 'Street' in the name.)

We reckon we can just about do it, if our Lord Mayor is prepared to walk certain sections. Those who want to take it one-step further might like to try the puzzle on a late Victorian map, when the road layout and street names were slightly different.

Solutions in the comments, please...and do let us know if you have any further information about the song the puzzle comes from. Rodney is unable to find any reference.

Got a London puzzle? Drop us a line at tips@londonist.com


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Bank - Poultry, Cheapside, New Change, St Paul's Churchyard, Ludgate Hill, Old Bailey, Holborn Viaduct, Holborn, High Holborn, Shaftesbury Avenue. Charing Cross Rd, St Martin's Place, Strand, The Mall - Buckingham Palace


The solution to this lies in London's great superhighway, aka The Thames. Historically Lord Mayors would have used their barge (as depicted eg by Canaletto) to get to and from the City to Westminster. So the route is Poultry, Cheapside, St Benet's Hill, St Paul's Wharf, Thames, Whitehall Stairs, Whitehall, Horse Guards, Mall. I've been trying to find some online reference to this and the best I can do so far is this from George Sala in 1895 http://www.victorianlondon.org... Don't forget that the song, as is common with this sort of street ditty, was probably anachronistic when sung by late Victorians - the past tense suggests so. You can trace the Georgian route (when Buckingham Palace would have been Buckingham House) at http://www.motco.com/map/81002... (Georgian Group)