How Many Of These 10 Uber-Hard Questions About London Can You Answer?

How Many Of These 10 Uber-Hard Questions About London Can You Answer?

Like a tough quiz? Like said tough quiz to be purely London-based? Here are 10 from The Strangest London Quiz Book to test your grey matter. Good luck. You'll need it.

1. One of Christopher Wren's smallest buildings is actually in a London park. Which park is it and what exactly is the building?

Image: Public domain

2. Which London hospital still looks after Florence Nightingale’s stuffed owl?

Not this stuffed owl. Another one. Image: Shutterstock

3. You can live in a church tower in the City of London. Which one?

Here's a clue: this is the actual tower. Image: Shutterstock

4. Which London pub has the world's smallest bar?

And here it is

5. Which theatre has its own 'railway'?

Here's the outside of the theatre. Any guesses? Image: Shutterstock

6. Which famous London poet insisted on sitting in his garden with no clothes on and where did he do it?

An artist's impression. Image: Shutterstock

7. To save money, which housing estate in central London was built using millions of bricks taken from an old prison?

A nice clue for you here: this is the prison. Image: Public domain

8. Why did Victorian builders in London decorate public lavatories with pictures of bees?

Image: Shutterstock

9. Which London pub once served the world's biggest pies?

Hello you. Image: Shutterstock

10. Which creature evolved into a new species on the London Underground?

Image: Shutterstock

Answers

1: It's a shelter for walkers — called Queen Anne's Alcove — situated at the Bayswater Road end of the Serpentine in Hyde Park.

2. St Thomas' Hospital. It includes a small museum of items associated with the great pioneer of nursing.

3. St Alban's Tower is the only remaining part of the old Church of St Alban, Wood Street. The medieval church that stood here was rebuilt in the 1630s by the great classical architect Inigo Jones, only to be destroyed in the Great Fire in 1666. Wren's replacement church was then destroyed in the blitz, leaving the tower and the outer walls, which were demolished in the 1960s. The tower bizarrely became a private house, and it still is.

4. The 300-year-old Dove at Hammersmith. Its public bar measures just 4ft x 7ft 10in (1.2 x 2.4m).

5. The London Coliseum. It was once London's biggest theatre, and the 'railway' was designed to take VIPs from the entrance to their seats. As an old report says:

Immediately on entering the theatre, a Royal party will step into a richly furnished lounge, which at a signal will move softly along on a track formed in the floor, through the salon and into a large foyer, which contains the entrance to the Royal Box. The lounge car remains in the position at the entrance to the box and serves as an ante-room during the performance...

6. William Blake. He had a house in Lambeth — sadly demolished long ago — and believed in the health-giving properties of 'air bathing'. He was spotted regularly each summer sitting at a small table in the garden with his wife... both of them completely naked.

7. The Tachbrook Estate just behind the Tate Britain art gallery was built using bricks from the old Millbank Prison, which once occupied the site.

8: Because the Latin for a bee is... apis.

9. In the 19th century, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese in Fleet Street made what were thought to be the biggest pies in Britain. Filled with beef, oysters and lark, each pie weighed between 23-36kg. Each was big enough to feed about 100 people and among those who ceremonially dished up the first serving were Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and prime minister Stanley Baldwin.

10. In the mid-1980s, scientists noticed that as well as the numerous rats and mice living in the Victorian tunnels deep under the streets of the capital, there were also large numbers of mosquitoes. There was nothing particularly unusual about that, except that studies quickly revealed that the mosquitoes were very different from other known mosquitoes. Comparisons were made with similar insects from Africa and Asia and with all the known subspecies of mosquito, and the London mosquito was sufficiently different to be labelled as a new species.

The Strangest London Quiz Book, by Tom Quinn, is available to buy from 4 April 2019, rrp £6.99.

Last Updated 29 March 2019