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London Facts and Figures

London Facts and Figures

  • London is the capital of England.
  • It is situated at 51:30:40 North and 0:07:31 West as coordinates.
  • The height above mean sea level is 49 feet.
  • The currency used is GBP (Great British Pound) Sterling.
  • Spoken language used is English.
  • Time zone that is followed is Greenwich Mean Time with UTC +0.
  • Population was 12,496,800 as per the census taken at the end of 2014.
  • The city area is 1,572 square kilometres.

Important Facts and Figures about the City and its Landmarks

  • The Houses of Parliament are referred to as the Westminster Palace. Technically, it is the biggest palace in London. This Palace has six restaurants, eight bars, 1,000 rooms, 100 staircases, eleven courtyards, a hair salon and a range for rifle shooting.
  • The Westminster Abbey is also a burial place where many poets and playwrights are buried.
  • Big Ben is not the complete clock tower; it is the name given to the bell and its chime has been tuned to the note of E Major.
  • 25 Brook Street is the house where the famous composer, Georg Frideric Haendel lived from 1723 until he died in 1759. This house has now been turned into a museum.
  • The house where Charles Dickens lived is still maintained as a museum at 48 Doughty Street. He lived in this house from 1837 to 1839 and this is the place where he wrote the Pickwick Papers and Oliver Twist. Manette Street in Soho is named after the character from Dickens’ novel, `A Tale of Two Cities’.
  • Trident Studios are famous for Beatles’ recording their White Album and David Bowie recording his `Ziggy Stardust’.
  • Karl Marx wrote his `Das Kapital’ in the reading room at the British Museum. He also drafted the Communist Manifesto in a small room just above the Red Lion pub on the Great Windmill Street. It has now become a trendy bar.
  • In the `Square Mile’ or the `City of London’, there were no roads until 1994. Goswell Road became part of the City of London after changes were made to the boundary in 1994. The city only had lanes, ways and streets.
  • Since 1842, the statue of Lord Nelson has graced the top of the 170 foot tall column at Trafalgar Square. Hitler wanted to dismantle this very statue and the column and then rebuild it in Berlin.
  • In 1878, a time capsule was buried underneath Cleopatra’s Needle on the Embankment. It is assumed to contain a razor, cigars, a portrait of Queen Victoria, copies of ten daily newspapers and pictures of twelve English beauties of the Victorian Age.
  • Blackfriars is the only railway station that has entrances on both sides of River Thames.
  • Arsenal Football Club is the only team to have a Tube station in London named after them. The station was called Gillespie Road before 1932. This happened when the team moved from Woolwich to North London.
  • More than 1,000 bodies are buried beneath Aldgate Station as there was a plague pit built there in 1665.
  • More than half of the Underground Tube network in London actually runs above the ground.
  • There are many abandoned Tube stations in London. Many are used for the purpose of filming and for private parties. Strand is one such station as it closed down in 1994. Down Street closed down in 1932.
  • The oldest church in the City of London is All Hallows near Tower Hill. It was founded by the Abbey of Barking in 675 AD. A second century Roman pavement was discovered beneath the crypt in 1926, dating back to the second century after Christ.
  • Not many people appreciate that black cab drivers have to pass the really tough Knowledge Test about London’s geography that needs mastering of 320 basic routes, about 25,000 streets and more than 20,000 landmarks within a six-mile radius of Charing Cross. If you spot someone riding a scooter with a fluorescent jacket with a large map sprawled over the front, it is likely a prospective black cabbie who is studying for the `Knowledge’ exam. It takes between two to four years to learn the details fully.
  • Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin met at the Brotherhood Church on Southgate Road in Hackney for a meeting of the banned Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1907. The building has been demolished and in its place is a local supermarket.
  • Cocaine was freely available until 1916 at Harrods.
  • The Gross Domestic Product of London is considerably superior to that of most European countries and that includes Sweden and Belgium.
  • The wine cellar of Henry VIII is underneath the Main Building in Whitehall of the Ministry of Defence.
  • Windsor Castle is perhaps the oldest royal residence anywhere in the world that is still in use by a royal family.
  • There is only one road in London where people have to drive on the right side of the road. The entrance road to the Savoy Hotel, off the Strand, requires people to drive on the right hand side of that road. This is mainly for the taxis to drop off the guests at the Savoy Theatre that is located on the right hand side of the road before they pick up fares from the hotel which is situated at the end of that road. The roundabout at the end of the road is a small one. This means that only cars that use a turning circle of twenty five feet or under can use it.
  • The Queen has to take permission to enter the City of London. She is the Head of State for the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada but Queen Elizabeth II is not allowed to enter the Square Mile without obtaining permission from the Lord Mayor who is the Head here. The citizens of the City of London through the City’s Corporation have still retained the ancient privilege of barring the Sovereign from entering their lanes and streets.