So today, we signed up for a Treasure Hunt with the London Appreciation Society (LAS). No real prize other than completing the walk, and getting to the end point, then checking the answers to the questions. Not sure if we got them all correct, as we had to leave at the end, and didn’t even join the group for a drink or lunch, as other commitments mean’t we couldn’t stay.
Below are the questions with our answers, and some photos to join them.
The starting point, was at the London Needle. There’s your first question, where is the London Needle. It is actually close to the Shard (no, the Needle is not the Shard), there is a monument of a needle close by London Bridge Station, towards the Thames river bank.
I didn’t take a picture of the Needle, but this picture is the nearby Thames, which brings me to the clue #1:
“From the Needle, set off towards the bridge. By No 1. London Bridge go down the steps to Queen’s Walk. Where does one remaining alcove from the old bridge stand?“
We followed the instructions, and went down the steps; we were met with the view you see in that photo to the left. Walking a little further was a little sign (see photo to the right), and in it we can read the inscription:
“OId London Bridge: First built by the Romans, this was the only bridge over the Thames in London until 1750. Until 1830, London Bridge stood a short distance downstream from where the existing bridge is now. The north side extended under the tower of St Magnus the Martyr Church, whilst the south end was on the site of No. 1 London Bridge. The bridge was rebuilt in 1973, the south end of its Victorian predecessor still survives today. Stones from the bridge can still be seen in St Magnus churchyard. An alcove from the bridge, added in the 18th Century, now stands in the grounds of Guys Hospital. The rest now stands in Lake Havasu, USA.”
Actually from this vantage point, you can just see Tower Bridge as well. Take a look at the photo on the right, you can just make it out in the centre of the image.
So, on to the clue #2:
“Follow the signs right to London Bridge Station. Who was St Olave?“
Of course, following the signs to London Bridge Station also means you get a good view of The Shard, so I just had to take a photo of it.
Well, as we were walking we saw a building with a picture printed on the corner wall. The writing with the picture states: “Saint Olave – King of Norway”. There’s our answer to that clue… King of Norway.
“Cross Tooley St, and into the station. Keep to the left and weave your way through to the exit under the Shard. Cross over St Thomas St into Great Maze Pond. What was discovered at the site of the old creek?“
So, as we wandered down Great Maze Pond, no it isn’t a pond (well, it was once), now it is a pedestrian walkway. We found a plaque on the wall. I didn’t get a photo of it, but it stated that there was something found at the site of the old creek, it was: “Romans – British Boat/Roman Timbers”
“Go briefly into Memorial Park. What was the first nurses’ home in London, and when was it opened?“
Memorial park is very pretty, but is also the location of Kings College London. However, as we walked into the park, and over to the right, (building on the right photo), at the entrance, and on the wall, we could see a sign that the first nurses’ home in London was called the Henriette Raphael, and was opened in 1902.
“Leave the park by the zebra and go into the Colonnade. What was the drinking fountain dedicated to?“
Once inside, either side had its own sights.
The drinking fountain was dedicated to the Guys Men who died in the South African War.
“Carry on into St Thomas St. Who was Henry Stephen’s flat mate?”
Good question. We walked out into the street. Turned left, and kept walking and looking for clues to the answer. Eventually we found the plaque. It stated, that Henry Stephen’s shared the flat with non other than John Keats.
“Cross the main road and go past the Highwayman’s Globe and under the trains to the Golden Hinde II. How did John Overs try to save money?“
Southwark Cathedral runs next to where the Golden Hinde is. I always though that the Golden HInde was in a wet dock as it was visible from the Thames. But no it is all dry around the ship.
On one of the plaques at the Hinde, talked about John Overs. In order to save money, he feigned his own death.
“Now go down the removal men’s wharf past the Rose Window. Do not go to jail but read about them on the wall nearby. Where was the first Clink?“
Of course, one of the first things you tend to notice when you are going anywhere near the Click Prison, is that there is a skeleton caged in the hanging cage. He’s been there a while, as I can’t remember a time when he wasn’t there. Whatever he did wrong, it must have been really, really bad.
On the wall was a plaque regarding the Clink Prision. It states: “The Clink Prison is the name given to all the prisons that have stood on a number of sites in this vicinity. The first prison in 1127 was a cellar in the Palace of the Bishop of Winchester, and the last was in Deadman’s Place (Park Street). The prison held Protestant and Catholic religious martyrs at various times. It was closed in 1780, when it was burned by the anti-Catholic Gordon rioters.” So, the answer to the question was… A cellar in the Palace of the Bishop of Winchester.
“Turn left into Deadman’s Place and follow the pointing finger to the Rose. Find the site of the original Globe Theatre. What was the only casualty of the fire & how was it saved?“
Here’s something you don’t see everyday. When we left the Clink Prison, and got to the corner, there was this guy all dressed up in his Shirt and Tails, playing the tuba with a difference. As he played fire came out of the top, and of course there was a wall art of the Bard himself.
Then, if that wasn’t enough, there were a couple of guys doing more wall art. Great to watch, but we still had several clues to solve, so, unfortunately we couldn’t stay.
As the clue suggested, there was a notice board, and on it a pointy finger pointing to the right, stating the Rose Theatre. So we turned and followed it. Over on the left a little way down the road, we saw some big notice boards. These had information about the original Globe Theatre. Here we read that the roof caught fire and burnt to the ground. However, then it stated that the only injury was a man who’s trousers had caught fire, which he saved by throwing a bottle of ale over them.
“On Saturdays who narrates the film in the Rose?“
Outside the Rose, we saw a sign that said on Saturdays Sir Ian McKellan narrates the film.
“Right into Park Street, and swan past the Globe. Who lived at no 49? And who took refuge there?“
This seemed to have people in the group confused, because they started heading back the way the came. However, we didn’t. the clue said to swan past the Globe, so we headed to the new Globe Theatre.
My wife and I remembered that there were some houses next to the Globe that seemed to be saved there for some reason. When we looked, we could see why. On the wall of one of them was, you’ll never guess what? Yes, a plaque. So what did it say you ask.
“Here lived Sir Christopher Wren during the building of St Paul’s Cathedral. Here also in 1502, Catherine Infanta of Castella & Aragon, afterwards first Queen of Henry VII took shelter on her first landing in London.”
“Go all the way around to look into No 49’s back garden. What happened in 2009/10?“
Getting around to the back garden was a little bit of a challenge. There’s a little alley next to the house, as you can see from the above photo, but it had a locked gate. I remembered that by the Tate Modern, there was a walkway over on the East side, so we went in that direction, and sure enough we got to see the back garden. No ordinary back garden either. It is the Tate Community Garden. What was special was that in 2009 and 2010 it won the Southwark in Bloom Silver Gilt Award.
“Exit via an ivy walled walk, turning right, go by LEON and cross main road. Get a Table in the courtyard and out through the arch. Turn left into Great Suffolk St. Where might you hope to be like Henry Cooper?“
So, what about Henry Cooper. The only thing we could find was a closed pub, but there was no Coopers emblem, so we can only imaging it is the Boxer that this refers to, as we could see a gym nearby, Fitness 4 Less. However, I believe we’ve got that one wrong. Looking at google maps, I’ve noticed just around the corner is a place called The Ring Boxing Club. This is I believe the correct answer.
Well here’s the cafe, and it is owned by Gordon Ramsay. Not much to say. We didn’t look at the menu or the prices, but we did notice the scaffolding around the front.
“As you continue, watch out for ‘luvvies’ emerging from this space. Who opened it and when?“
This ended up being an art gallery space called Jerwood Space. Inside was a plaque on the wall that stated that it was opened by Chris Smith and Alan Grieve on the 21st September 1998.
“Turn into a street of condiment to find a hidden garden. What building does it belong to? and who was its architect?“
So now to hunt for the hidden garden. Well, it wasn’t too hard to find. However it wasn’t exactly in Pepper Street, it was on the corner with Copperfield Street (there’s a lot of Dickens names around here).
“Go like the Dickens down Copperfield St. and cross main road to Quilp St. For how many years was Evelina Hospital for Sick Children here?“
This plaque is a little hard to find. We saw some people walking up to about 100 yards away looking for the clue. I had to enhance the photo a little as you really struggle to read it even close up. But the answers are here. It was open from 1869 to 1976, so 107 years.
“Through the park and continue straight on Quilp St. Turn left. Go on to a lovely garden. ‘As Hour Follows Hour God’s Mercies On Us Shower’. Where will you find this motto?“
This had us going to a while. We walked through the park, and continued on Quilp St, but then we couldn’t find the lovely garden. But I noticed that Quilp St continued over the main road, so I headed down there. Turned left, and went looking for the lovely garden. Look what I found (photo right). That little sundial, had a motto around the base. Yep, you guessed it. It was the motto in the clue.
“Leave the garden and carry on up the road. What are Winchester Geese? And where will you find them?“
As you continue along the road, you will come across a graveyard called the Cross Bones Graveyard. On the pages of paper it states that the Winchester Geese are Prostitutes. They can be found in the Crossbones Graveyard.
Inside the door, there is a little display, and a notice that states: The name Boot & Flogger refers to a corking device. The leather boot holds the bottle whilst the wooden flogger ‘flogs’ the cork.
The LAS group then met in the basement of the pub for a nice drink and lunch. As I mentioned at the beginning, we unfortunately had other commitments and couldn’t stay.