London's Pet Plaques And Memorials
As a nation of pet lovers, it's no surprise that our faithful dogs and less-faithful cats are often commemorated with well-considered memorials. We've rounded up some of London's best in the gallery above. We should also mention the
Animals in War memorial on Park Lane, which commemorates the many animals (in most cases, not pets) who were unwittingly put to service during 20th century wars.
All photos by the author, except Dr Salter's cat by Roll the Dice (Londonist Flickr pool), pet cemetery in Marlborough House by Andrea Liu (Londonist Flickr pool), Hyde Park pet cemetery by N Quentin Woolf, and the Tom Sayers memorial (public domain).
London's second most-famous Boris, possibly, is Boris the cat, whose memorial can be found in Kentish Town on Anglers Lane (perhaps he's looking for fish).
London's most famous pet statue commemorates Hodge, pet cat of Samuel Johnson. Find it in Gough Square near the lexicographer's museum-house.
This little-known cat statue stands in a children's playground in Old Gloucester Street, round the corner from Great Ormond Street. It commemorates Humphrey, who lived at nearby Mary Ward House for 18 years. The sculptor is Marcia Solway, who died the same year as Humphrey, 1992.
These two dog memorials hide in a niche within the central courtyard of the V&A. One, called Jim, belonged to Sir Henry Cole, who was instrumental in the founding of the V&A.
Giro was the pet terrier of German ambassador Leopold von Hoesch and, as such, is often labelled as a 'Nazi dog' (in truth, Giro's political leanings were not recorded). His story is well told elsewhere. Suffice it to say, you can find his tacky kennel-shaped memorial at the top of the Duke of York's steps leading from the Mall to Carlton House Terrace.
Hogarth's pug Trump stands beside his painterly master on Chiswick High Street.
The Golden Heart pub in Spitalfields has a number of peculiar decorations on its Commercial Street frontage. Among them is this plaque to a former pub dog called Gizmo. Perhaps they fed him after midnight.
A pet cemetery in the grounds of Marlborough House.
A pet cemetery on the northern edge of Hyde Park.
The tomb of boxer Tom Sayers in Highgate west cemetery includes the sleepy likeness of his faithful dog called Lion.
Nipper, the famous dog from the HMV logo, has a number of memorials. You can find a Nipper Alley in Kingston-upon-Thames, and an old memorial plaque to his grave (sadly we don't have a picture), but he's also commemorated in this plaque on Piccadilly.
Dr Salter's cat, part of a group sculpture including the doctor, his wife and daughter, can be found on the Bermondsey river front. Parts of the sculpture were stolen by suspected metal thieves a few years back, but have since been replaced.
Last Updated 30 September 2016