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The smallest statue in London: two mice and cheese

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You will never find this if you don’t know what to look for. This is a small statue of two mice that sits above the first floor of a building between Philpot Lane and Eastcheap in London.

The statue depicts two small mice fighting over a piece of cheese and dates back to around 1862. It is said to have been made to commemorate two masons who fell from a scaffolding and died during the lunch break.

It seems they were arguing because one accused the other of stealing the cheese sandwich. In reality, it was the mice that ate it. There is another version of the story which says the two men fell from a scaffolding at The Monument, which is nearby, during renovations in the 1800s.

In any case, this is the smallest statue in London.

Can you take a picture of it?

© Copyright Basher Eyre and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Worked in many sectors including recruitment and marketing. Lucky to have found a soulmate who was then taken far too soon. No intention of moving on and definitely not moving to Thailand for the foreseeable future. Might move forward. Owned by a cat.

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Exhibition

See London like you have never seen it before!

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The Unreal City exhibition is over but you can now see it in your home via a free app that you can find here until February 7th.

The objective is to transform the city into an immersive art gallery in augmented reality (AR). An initiative of the AR Acute Art and Dazed Media app, the exhibit featured 36 digital sculptures by artists from around the world and was organized as a riverside walking tour at a time when indoor museums had become completely inaccessible due to COVID-19.

Featuring images of some of the sculptures and words from artists including Olafur Eliasson, Tomás Saraceno, Cao Fei and many others.

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Travel

Exeter Cathedral; interesting things you can see

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In England there is certainly no shortage of cathedrals, some splendid. Among the most beautiful are undoubtedly the Cathedral of Exeter or St. Peter’s Cathedral, which is located in a place of prayer that is over 1500 years old. The current cathedral, however, dates back to around 1100 after the arrival of the Normans, although now of that date we have practically only the two towers.

Another part of the cathedral dates back to 1270 when Exeter Cathedral was refurbished in a typically English Gothic. The cathedral was unfortunately hit by a German bomb in 1942, St James’s chapel was completely destroyed along with several medieval objects, some of which have been rebuilt piece by piece.

Fortunately some important historical artifacts had been taken away, in fact an attack on the cathedral had been foreseen, probably all these churches and cathedrals were hit in an attempt to demoralise the people.

What can you see at Exeter Cathedral?

You can still see the 50 mercies or genuflexors which are small shelves leaning against the wall that supported those who had to stand a long time to pray. These date back to the 1200s and are the oldest complete group in the UK. Also in this group is the figure of an elephant, the oldest in the United Kingdom.

There is the famous astronomical clock which dates back to 1484, the ancient library which dates back to 1100 and the gallery with 12 statues of angels playing different instruments.

The towers also have bells, the north tower contains a bell called Peter which however is no longer rung completely and the south tower has 12 bells which are among the heaviest in the world.

When you are at the cathedral you can be taken to the top of the roof and the North Tower, you have to climb 251 steps so you have to be fit but the views are spectacular. You must book in advance and here you will find the instructions.

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UK

Savoy Hotel in London; facts that will surprise you

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From the start, the Savoy Hotel in London had all the comforts of the time: electricity, running and hot water, elevators and rooms with bathrooms. 

The well-known hotel is located on land given by King Henry III to Peter, Count of Savoy in 1264. The latter belonged to the same House of Savoy as the kings of Italy.

Savoy Court just outside the hotel is one of the few places in the UK where you have to drive on the right and not on the left. The reason is that the Savoy Theater is to the right of the hotel and taxis can pass from the hotel to the theater without turning.

During the Second World War the Savoy probably had some of the best bomb shelters in London. Winston Churchill often brought his government here.

There are still 263 en-suite rooms but since 2005 the Savoy belongs to Fairmount Hotels and not to the Savoy Group as it once was Curiosities of the Savoy Hotel in London.

The hotel was opened in 1889 to accommodate American tourists who came to see operettas at the Savoy Theater, another piece was added in 1903-4

The Egyptian prince Fahmy Bey was killed at the Savoy Hotel in London in 1923 by his French wife. She was never convicted because at the trial it was revealed that her husband was cruel to his wife and had threatened to kill her.

The Savoy still houses one of London’s best hotel restaurants, called The Grill Room.

Next to the hotel is Carting Lane where a lamp (you can now see a replica) is said to have been powered by gases from the sewer. It is said that the Savoy’s guests had the lamps lit up. In fact this was only partially true, most of the gas came from the gas pipe and not from the sewer.

The first manager of the Savoy Hotel in London was Cesar Ritz and the first chef Auguste Escoffier, famous for inventing the Peach Melba in honor of the opera singer Nellie Melba.

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