London - Did You Know?

-The River Thames did not originally flow through London, but further to the north. The course of the river was shifted south by the ice cap during the last Ice Age.

-The great Tower of London was actually one of a pair of towers. The other, nearly identical, tower was built in the ancient east coast town of Colchester.

-London once had a Roman arena, like the COLOSSEUM
, but nobody knew where it was. Recently, archeologists have discovered that London's central Guildhall is sitting in the middle of it.

-In medieval London, most of the brothels were owned by the Bishop of Winchester. The regulations for the brothels may well have been drawn up by the future saint, Thomas Becket.

-Geoffrey Chaucer, the author of The Canterbury Tales, is buried in Westminster Abbey - not because he was a great author, but because his house belonged to the abbey. Chaucer was a figure at the royal court. His aunt was the mistress of John of Gaunt, the king's brother.

-Shakespeare's Globe theatre originally stood north of the river Thames. But because of a legal dispute, it was dismantled, taken across the Thames, and erected on the south bank.

-While Sir Christopher Wren was building London's St Pauls cathedral, he concealed the fact that it was to have the dome for which it is famous. The London Protestants had objected to the fact that it looked like the Pope's great church of St Peters in Rome. Fortunately, Wren outlived the objectors, and the great dome was built.

-In the great financial panic of 1825, London was also under a thick 'pea-souper' fog. Many customers, trying to withdraw their funds, were unable to do so because they couldn't find their banks in the fog!




 

 

 

Did You Know?
For perhaps 600 years, the patron saint of England - not Britain - has been Saint George. Before St George, there were several candidates for the position, including the last king of the ancient Saxon royal house, St Edward the Confessor, son of the disastrous King Ethelred the Unready. But St Edward was a monkish fellow, always praying, and never popular. Whereas St George, by repute, had slain a dragon on top of a well-known beauty spot in southern England. The fact that he was most likely an obscure third-century Roman, who had never been to the British Isles in his life, and is unlikely to have met a dragon, could be forgotten. He was heroic, he had a fine silver shield with a bold red cross on it, like a crusader. And the Londoners liked him and made him their own. When this author was a Wolf Cub and a Boy Scout in his childhood, he always had to march in the big St George’s Day parade, on the twenty-third day of this month !




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