London's Most Unusual Statues
There's more to London statuary than some long-forgotten dead blokes on horseback. Scroll down below for our pick of the strangest fake people across town. Or nominate your own favourites in the comments.
See also: London's weirdest dummies and mannequins (some of these are truly twisted).
DOCTOR WHO BADDIE? This hilarious statue of Elizabeth I stands in the grounds of Westminster School. It's made from stone, brass and possibly a giant Polo mint. The modern-day Queen unveiled the 8ft non-likeness of her predecessor in 2010, to mark the School's 450th birthday. Prince Philip was seen to snigger as the work by sculptor Matthew Spender was revealed.
WOEBEGONE: Is this London's saddest statue? The unidentified gentleman cowers in a niche within the gardens of Holland Park. No wonder he's maudlin. His robes are bespattered with algae, and his chosen headgear looks like it was exhumed from the grave of a flapper.
ANIMATRONIC: Ever spotted this fellow round the back of Tate Modern? Monument to the Unknown Artist by 'Greyworld' is doubly odd. His clothing is not made of metal and flaps around in the wind. More than this, he's packed with sensors and levers that help him adopt the same position as anyone who stands before him (when he's not broken, that is). Burn him, he's a witch.
EYE EYE: John Wilkes used to be this country's most famous politician. He did lots of remarkable stuff, but perhaps his best legacy is this Fetter Lane memorial, said to be London's only cross-eyed statue. We're not sure if anyone's truly done the legwork to verify this ocular uniqueness, but we can confirm that Wilkes himself is not of steady gaze.
FROM RUSSIA WITH ODD: Why is there a statue of Peter the Great in Deptford? Why are his proportions so ungainly? Who's the tiny fellow? What's with the empty chair? Why is he wearing a dress? All of these questions are answered on the internet, but it's more fun to simply stand and ponder this most baffling of statues.
SOAP STAR: Some statues are made of bronze, some of stone. This simulacrum of the Duke of Cumberland was made from soap. Yes, soap. It was installed before the Olympics slowly melted away in Cavendish Square, finally vanishing in 2016.
GLAD-HANDED: The statue of William Gladstone near Bow Church is unusual in having been unveiled during the subject's lifetime. But it's the bright red hands that stimulate our oddness gland into over-secretion. Gladdo's palms were supposedly anointed with the crimson hue in commemoration of the East End Match Girls who went on strike over working conditions and pay during Gladstone's premiership. Perhaps he should rub up against the Duke of Cumberland in our last image.
Last Updated 26 October 2016