Did you know that...
Hall Place is a grade I listed building in South East London. It was built in the 16th century for Sir John Champneys, former Lord Mayor of London. The house doubled in size in 1649 while under the ownership of Sir Robert Austen.
Formula 1 magnate Bernie Ecclestone, glamour model Emma Noble, Olympic sprinter John Regis, footballer Harry Arter, bassist John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, singer Kate Bush, and video games journalist Jim Sterling are some of the most famous people associated with this area.
Singer Alex Cartana, singer Sarah Gillespie, author Adelle Stripe, comedian Norman Pace, and actor John Boyega are some of the notable alumni of the University of Greenwich in South East London. The highest point in London is in Westerham Heights in this area.
South East London is home of the phrase ‘spend a penny’. The Crystal Palace is, basically, a giant greenhouse that had the first ever British public toilet. Certainly, men only. The visitors had to pay a penny each time they needed to use ‘the reading room’.
The Dinosaur Court at Crystal Palace Park (opened in 1852) became the World’s first theme park.
Horniman Museum has a few amazing exhibits. In 1870, for example, a Canadian taxidermist was given a walrus skin. The man had no idea of how the animal looked in real life, so he simply stuffed it full, creating a balloon with a pair of tusks.
Did you know that the O2 Arena is large enough to fit the Statue of Liberty or the Great Pyramid of Giza inside? This Greenwich venue, originally known as the Millennium Dome, is the largest structure of its kind in the world and the second indoor venue in the United Kingdom regarding the seating capacity.
Have you ever wondered why the various entertainment venues were located across the river in Southwark, not in the centre of London? Visiting the theatre, bear-baiting, brothels, and some other favourite entertainments of Londoners was prohibited by morality and laws of the time. In the 16th century, these establishments set up away from government supervision.
Have you ever considered the reasons why Lambeth Bridge and Westminster Bridge are painted in red and green, respectively? Well, that’s because Lambeth Bridge honours the House of Lords, the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which is usually associated with a large, red coloured, lavishly furnished Lords chamber. Westminster Bridge features green colour in honour of the House of Commons, a small and modestly decorated in green chamber of the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. And what’s funny is, Parliament attempted to block the building of the Westminster Bridge at least three times!