Hidden Kings: In Search Of London's Concealed Monarchs

By Jonn Last edited 66 months ago
Hidden Kings: In Search Of London's Concealed Monarchs


A rare piece of breaking news from the 15th century emerged yesterday, with confirmation that the bones of King Richard III had been found under a Leicester car park. We at Londonist sincerely hope that this will mean the media finally reassesses its persistently pro-Tudor bias.

Monarchs disguised by concrete and tarmac, though, are not as unusual as one might think. In fact, after a few moments with an A to Z and our copy of Brewers, we think we've identified no fewer than eight: in chronological order, Harold II, Henry IV, Henry VII, Charles II, George I, George IV, Victoria and Edward VII.

All of these are referred to (sometimes cryptically) in the names of at least one place name somewhere in London. And just to make things difficult, we're only counting those that are at least semi-disguised: so no King William IV pubs, no George V playing field, and absolutely no Victoria. To reveal one solution, George I can claim Hanover Square in Mayfair, which was named after his ancestral home, upon his ascension to the British throne.

So, can you find our other hidden kings? First to identify all eight wins a vague sense of smugness, and perhaps a postcard of Leicester.

Feel free to suggest other monarchs hidden in the landscape, in the comments below.

Last Updated 05 February 2013