Secret London Series

Secret London Churches

This is a book about secret London churches. That is to say that their locations are no secret and each of them in this book has photographs and directions to the nearest Tube station.

But they are the less well-known churches around Central London and in particular, the City of London.

London has a colourful history stretching back over two thousand years and our stories will cover the Roman occupation, the Saxons, the Great Fire of London, the Great Plague and the Blitz to name a few.

Churches are constant witnesses to our history. We walk by them without much more than a glance. It is hoped that by the end of this book you will appreciate the secrets they are only too willing to give up if we only take the time to look.

Secret London Places

London has been a witness to history for over 2,000 years. When the Romans departed Britain in the 4th Century, London went through many changes until it reached the present day.

It was severely damaged by the Great Fire of London in 1666, its population suffered and died in great numbers during the Black Death and the Plague. It has been host to public riots and uprisings. Royalty came, went and returned again. All of these events have left their mark in the fabric of London. All of the “secret” and “hidden” places in this book are fascinating and have the ability to take us back in time to once again feel a link to those Londoners that went before us.

And if you know where to go, you can still find those places that echo the stories of the past. And they do not mark just the big events of history. There are also reminders of individual people whose stories reflect a more human insight of what life was like in London past. And finally, all of these places still exist and can be visited. If you cannot get to London, then you will find photographs of each of these locations within the book.

Secret Bloody London

Cities are witnesses to the acts of its inhabitants. Some can be good but others bad. Bloody events can occur from outside forces or from the citizens themselves.

London witnessed much bloodshed. There was the inhumanity handed out by Queen Boudica who showed no mercy in her bloody revenge on the Romans and those who associated with them. And there was the merciless revenge shown by the justice authorities throughout much of history as “criminals” faced torture and the most painful of executions.

In more modern times London has been host to some of the most notorious serial killers ever known and it has been home to many gangsters. Finally London is a big target and as such, was savagely bombed in two World Wars.

This is the story of the darker side of London and the graphic accounts and illustrations in this book will give you an experience of what it must have been like to have lived in the Bloody London of the past.

Secret Criminal London

London has been in existence for over 2,000 years and over this time it has been witness to the acts of criminals committing crimes ranging from robbery to mass murder.

This book has the stories behind not only some of the famous crimes and criminals but will delve into the lesser known but still fascinating and horrific events from London’s history.

There is a chapter on prisons which over the years have played very different roles depending on whether you were rich or poor at the time of your incarceration.

And we do not have to go back very far to witness the brutality of living in a crowded city with a large, mostly poor population. It bred jealousy and crime was largely the result. We can always learn lessons from history and understand just how thin the “blue line” really is.

Secret Curious London

Through all of London’s colourful history there have been people, places and events which are just a little bit strange. This fully illustrated book looks at a variety of these – the quirky, the macabre and the curious.

In Curious People we will read of the man who had all his books buried with him in his coffin, a convict who became a Maori chief, and the tales of two prostitutes who made it from poverty to the height of society – with one of them being more famous for her cakes.

Curious Places tells why Buckingham Palace is back to front, Eros is completely wrong, why a statue cries and why a mammoth lived in a bank in Trafalgar Square.

Curious Events, lifts the lid on a Victorian sex cult which you can still visit, how a lady can rent a soldier and why Three Wise Men still deliver gold, frankincense and myrrh to a royal palace each year.

Finally the Just Curious section tells of two duelling ghosts, why Handel tried to throw a castrato singer out of the window of his Mayfair home and where mothers could sell their children to strangers.

Secret Dead London

For over 2,000 years people have lived and died in London and the city has a large number of cemeteries to cater for the huge numbers who have passed on during this time. This book covers many of the cemeteries in and around London. They all have stories to tell, not only about how they came about but also about their residents.

It includes a selection of the grand including royalty, the tragic such as some of the victims of Jack the Ripper, war heroes throughout the ages and a selection of contemporary stars of stage, screen and music.

There is also a section on plague pits. It has been estimated that the plague claimed the lives of over 100,000 Londoners in just seven months during 1665. Within the book eleven such pits are described.

Finally there is a section on grave robbers or Resurrection Men as they became known. Measures were put in place in order to stop this from happening which succeeded to a greater or lesser effect. We take a look at one such site still in existence, although rebuilt over the years. Death is inevitable but it is important not to lose the stories of the lives now gone.

Secret Haunted London

Ghosts have been reported as having been seen all around London. This is especially true of pubs – it seems that you are not complete if you don’t have your own specter in residence. But it is not just taverns that boast their own ghosts. In this book we investigate various supernatural phenomena in houses, palaces, theatres, museums, hotels, transport hubs as well as the expected selection of churches and graveyards. There is even a story of the ghostly Tree of Death in a London park.

Whether you believe in ghosts or not the stories in this book will take you through the history of the haunted location and attempt to link events in its past with any reported sightings or other phenomena. Many of the sites within this book still exist and can be visited – so you can always judge the truth for yourself. Fully illustrated throughout with photographs.

Secret Lost London

Walk around London today and you will see many signs from the past. There are sections of the Roman Wall still visible around parts of the City or go into the Guildhall Gallery and down in the basement you can trace your way into what remains of London’s Roman Amphitheatre.

But these are only a tiny number compared to what has been lost to history. Long gone are many of the palaces, grand houses, theatres, pleasure gardens, taverns, shops, eateries, concert halls, markets and fairs. But if you look carefully enough, there are still echoes of them here in the present.

This book not only describes the stories of many of these lost wonders but also tells you where to find them. It is filled with tales of the rich, famous and infamous. And some of the stories are strange indeed – like a church where the dead broke through the floor and a train which was designed to carry corpses. These and many other stories are all here in Secret Lost London.

Secret Murderous London

Since the dawn of humankind conflict has been a part of society. And committing murder – the premeditated act of taking another life – is the most gross of all. And the methods adopted both to kill and dispose of the body are as imaginative as they are horrific.

In this book we trace the last 500 years of murders in London. They all have something in common – in that they have an uncommon aspect to them. Whether it is the motive, the method used to kill or the disposal of the body, each story gives us an insight into the mind of the killer.

Finally there are the methods of execution used in the past and we learn what it was like to be a prisoner in the condemned cell. However not all sentences were carried out – if you knew what to say, you could often walk away from the court a free person. But many were not so lucky. There were even a few who refused to die. From the sixteenth to the twentieth century all horrific and weird murders and their consequences are here with many photographs.

Where They Lived in London Vol I

For 2,000 years London has been the home and workplace of people from all walks of life and within this book we examine ten areas of achievement and excellence. The list includes Actors, Artists, Composers & Musicians, Medical Practitioners, the Military, Novelists, Photographers, Pilots, Scientists, and Sports Stars. The life story of each of the people featured is linked with the part London played in their life and includes photographs of where they lived or worked.

Not only this but in the vast majority of cases these locations and buildings still exist and can be seen today. Each section contains the address and nearest Tube or Rail station to the location described. So not only can you read about these amazing characters, you can also visit Where They Lived in London.

Where They Lived in London Vol II

In this second volume of Where They Lived in London, we again shine a light on the 2,000 years that London has been the home and workplace of people from all walks of life.

Within this latest book, we examine ten areas of achievement and excellence. The list includes Actors, Artists, Composers & Musicians, Doctors & Nurses, Inventors, Soldiers & Sailors, Novelists, Pilots, Scientists, and Stage Comedians. The life story of each of the people featured is coupled with the part London played in their life and includes photographs of where they lived or worked in London.

Not only this, but in the vast majority of cases, these locations and buildings still exist and can be seen today. Each section contains the address and nearest Tube or Rail station to the location depicted. So not only can you read about these amazing characters, you can also visit Where They Lived in London.

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