Where in London will you find a still-functioning water wheel?
At Morden Hall Park, a five minute walk from Morden tube station.This former estate had a school for young gentlemen, but was sold in the 1870s to a tobacco seller.
The wheel used to be part of a snuff mill, grinding tobacco until 1922. The mill is powered by the river Wandle, and is now owned by the Nationalo Trust. There’s a rose garden and marshy meadowlands, and there are often art exhibitions and other events held here. Situated just the other side of a horrific ring-road, it still feels like part of rural Surrey, and is a home to herons and kingfishers.
Where can you see a statue of Peter Pan that isn’t in Kensington Gardens?
Yes, there’s another one, rather nicer in my opinion, and it’s outside the entrance to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children, near Bloomsbury’s Foundling Hospital. JM Barrie famously left all the royalties and performing rights for ‘Peter Pan’ to the hospital, which has a Barrie wing and a Peter Pan ward.
Where did Samuel Pepys watch the Great Fire of London from, and can you still go there?
In his diary, Pepys says he watched London burning from ‘a small ale house on Bankside.’ Actually, he started watching it from a boat on the Thames but got rained on by drops of fire, and retreated to the South side. We’re pretty sure his ale house stood where The Anchor now stands. The inn itself was rebuilt after two more fires, and hosted a literary club whose members included Dr Johnson and Boswell, Sir Joshua Reynolds and David Garrick. The pub’s better on a winter’s morning when it’s not full of Chinese tourists taking pictures of the beer pumps, toilets, floorboards etc.