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Wooden Block Paving

This is the last surviving wood paving in London. Wood was introduced in the Victorian era as it was quieter under iron-rimmed wagon wheels, and safer for horses (again, iron-shod) than stone or tar, especially on hills. However, it was harder to keep clean, absorbed smells – and needed great skill to lay.

Chequer Street EC1

The Eagle

Up and down the City Road/In and out the Eagle/That's the way the money goes/Pop! goes the weasel.’

This nursery rhyme of the 19th century refers to this pub off City Road that was built as a music hall in 1825. It was rebuilt in 1901 as the present pub, with a good atmosphere and a great beer garden.

2 Shepherdess Walk N1
www.theeaglehoxton.co.uk/

The Old Street roundabout itself might be bleak (though look for the secret garden in the middle, reached by a sordid stairway from the shopping ‘mall’ underneath) but the area around is full of history and now includes the fashionable area of Hoxton, full of art galleries and restaurants.

Tube: Old Street

Any comments - or a suggestion for a London secret? Please e-mail me.

Old Street

Bunhill Fields

A non-conformist burial ground, dating back to the 17th century, that contains some 120,000 bodies, including poet William Blake, and writers John Bunyan and Daniel Defoe. Most of the graves are now behind fencing, which is open from 1pm-3pm Mon-Fri. Its 130 trees are a refuge for both birds and bats.

38 City Road EC1

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Wesley’s Chapel

Built in 1778 by John Wesley, founder of Methodism, this chapel is known as ‘the cathedral of world Methodism’. Also here are his house, a Museum of Methodism and his tomb, as well as this statue (right), with the inscription: ‘The world is my parish.’ His wife is buried in nearby Bunhill Fields.

49 City Road EC1
www.wesleyschapel.org.uk/

Westland

This architectural salvage company in the former
St Michael’s church is a treasure trove of carving and sculpture. It also has old chimneys and fireplaces, paintings and furniture and wandering around it is like exploring an old attic, with  flashes of museum-quality works of art.

Leonard Street EC2
www.westlandlondon.com

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The Alexandra Trust
DIning Rooms

Built close to the busy tram and bus junction at Old Street by philanthropist Sir Thomas Lipton, this restaurant offered very cheap meals to the poor working classes. Six boilers could heat 500 gallons of hot soup and a three-course meal cost 4.5d (2p) in 1898. Some 100 waitresses could serve up to 12,000 meals a day.

City Road E1

Quaker Meeting House

Formerly a caretaker’s house, this is the only remnant of a complex that included a coffee tavern, school, medical mission and Meeting House. This area was bought by the Quakers in 1661 and 12,000 are buried here, all without gravestones according to their beliefs then, except founder George Fox (1624-91).

Quaker Gardens EC1

Victoria Miro Gallery

A striking modern building sits atop a Victorian former warehouse, with its own garden overlooking the Regent’s Canal. Famed for discovering artists such as Chris Ofili and photographer Andreas Gursky, Victoria Miro opened this massive, stylish contemporary gallery in 2000.

16 Wharf Road N1

Tel: +44 (0)20 7336 8109
www.victoria-miro.com