London's Biggest Balls: A Guide To The Capital's Spherical Wonders

M@
By M@ Last edited 31 months ago
London's Biggest Balls: A Guide To The Capital's Spherical Wonders
The statue popularly known as Eros, entombed within his winter snow ball. Photo by M@.
The statue popularly known as Eros, entombed within his winter snow ball. Photo by M@.
Christmas decorations in Chinatown. Photo by M@.
Christmas decorations in Chinatown. Photo by M@.
The famous Greenwich time ball, here apparently nestling on the Royal Observatory's ball-like dome. Photo by M@.
The famous Greenwich time ball, here apparently nestling on the Royal Observatory's ball-like dome. Photo by M@.
This polished sphere, Cartas al Cielo by Alicia Framis, appeared in Regent's Park around the time of the Frieze Art Fair in 2011. Photo by (and including) M@.
This polished sphere, Cartas al Cielo by Alicia Framis, appeared in Regent's Park around the time of the Frieze Art Fair in 2011. Photo by (and including) M@.
A ball by David Nash at Kew Gardens. Photo by HelenOfTheWays in the Londonist Flickr pool.
A ball by David Nash at Kew Gardens. Photo by HelenOfTheWays in the Londonist Flickr pool.
The black balls and other shapes have been hanging around City Hall since it was built. If memory serves, they're supposed to represent punctuation marks. Image by Nyaheh in the Londonist Flickr pool.
The black balls and other shapes have been hanging around City Hall since it was built. If memory serves, they're supposed to represent punctuation marks. Image by Nyaheh in the Londonist Flickr pool.
OK, this one's pretty tiny, but the bannister end at Carpenters' Hall in the City is just asking to be rubbed. Photo by M@.
OK, this one's pretty tiny, but the bannister end at Carpenters' Hall in the City is just asking to be rubbed. Photo by M@.
A massive ball made out of tights, here seen crushing Londonist's pet walrus. The ball is the work of artists Anna Kompaniets and Lenka Horakova. It will be rolling round Camden in 2014, of which more soon. Photo by M@.
A massive ball made out of tights, here seen crushing Londonist's pet walrus. The ball is the work of artists Anna Kompaniets and Lenka Horakova. It will be rolling round Camden in 2014, of which more soon. Photo by M@.
A silver fountain ball on the new Woodberry estate near Stoke Newington. Rumour has it that the nearby flagstones are remnants of the Old London Bridge. Photo by M@.
A silver fountain ball on the new Woodberry estate near Stoke Newington. Rumour has it that the nearby flagstones are remnants of the Old London Bridge. Photo by M@.
Part of Sculpture in the City 2013, Ryan Gander's “More Really Shiny Things That Don’t Mean Anything” approximates to a bollock when viewed beside the phallic gherkin. Photo by Jose Farhina.
Part of Sculpture in the City 2013, Ryan Gander's “More Really Shiny Things That Don’t Mean Anything” approximates to a bollock when viewed beside the phallic gherkin. Photo by Jose Farhina.
This beaut is currently on show in the plaza between the Cheesegrater and the Aviva building, also as part of the Sculpture in the City exhibition. It's known simply as Optic Sphere and is by Petroc Sesti. See how long you can watch passers-by before getting sea-sickness. Photo by M@.
This beaut is currently on show in the plaza between the Cheesegrater and the Aviva building, also as part of the Sculpture in the City exhibition. It's known simply as Optic Sphere and is by Petroc Sesti. See how long you can watch passers-by before getting sea-sickness. Photo by M@.
The monument to the Bali bombing of 2002 includes a large ball inscribed with peace doves. Image by Binary Ghost in the Londonist Flickr pool.
The monument to the Bali bombing of 2002 includes a large ball inscribed with peace doves. Image by Binary Ghost in the Londonist Flickr pool.

It's a little-known fact that the O2 dome in Greenwich is just the upper portion of a giant sphere that extends deep underground to house the Blackwall Tunnels and a secret James Bond baddie base. Many smaller spheroids can be found around town. Most recently, the statue usually called Eros received a protective bubble for the winter season, and Christmas baubles now droop from the rooftops of Chinatown and Covent Garden. Here, then, are London's biggest balls.

Sadly, we don't have a good photo of the Old Street beach ball, which came a-cropper during the recent hurricane. Nor ZSL London Zoo's memorable sculpture of a dung beetle, rolling up its turdball. And for completeness, we should also add the skeletal sphere on top of the Coliseum theatre. Who wants to share their own balls with us?

All photos by M@ except the Kew ball by Helenoftheways, the City Hall ball by Nyaheh, the Gherkin's bollock by Jose Farihina and the Bali memorial by Binary Ghost, all in the Londonist Flickr pool.

Last Updated 06 April 2016