A relocation to London UK will acquaint you with the odder corners of history for sure. This ancient city has hosted a quirky population in its day, and it never ceases to amuse me how these quirks are often responsible for some of its more charming features.
Last week, I started a series on London’s side street surprises; that is, relatively off-the-beaten-path pockets of the city where you can try to dodge the tourists. In my second post on this topic, I’d mentioned the Burlington Arcade just off Regent Street and how its origins were rather bizarre. Well, as promised, here’s a snippet on this interesting row of teeny Georgian-era shops (well preserved since their completion in 1819!), as related by Tom Quinn’s London’s Strangest Tales:
“Visitors often think the Georgian planners who built these little shops were simply building to make a profit. In fact they built the arcade to cover a narrow alley that ran alongside Burlington House, now the home of the Royal Academy but in the early nineteenth century still a private home. The owner of Burlington House was Lord George Cavendish, who had complained for years that while sitting in his garden he was constantly hit on the head by oyster shells, apple cores, old bottles and even an occasional dead cat. These unpleasant items were thrown over the wall between the garden and the lane which then existed at its side. Cavendish decided that a row of shops would put paid to the nuisance and so he had them built and the alleyway vanished forever.”
Oh, London…I love ya. So thanks to Lord Cavendish, those relocating to London today can still enjoy the tiny but high quality boutiques found within the arcade and feel like you’re stepping into the city’s past. And as you search for your own property to rent, you can feel confident that your Relocation agent will avoid showing you any apartments with gardens that serve as trash receptacles. 😉