Philpot Lane Mice: London’s Tiniest Public Sculpture
Even when you know what to look for, it’s hard to spot London’s tiniest, permanent, public sculpture. You’ll find it at 13 Philpot Lane, EC3
Gaze up at the 19th Century office block (with a Cafe Nero underneath) and ignore the hulking form of the Walkie Talkie above.
You’ll spot a funny addition to the building’s facade.
Can you see it?
Image from London Remembers, a fantastic website dedicated to recording all London’s memorials and monuments.
So What’s going on?
I’ll be the first to admit that the story behind this has all the whiff of a London urban myth, but I’ll share the tragic tale and you can decided for yourself…
Whilst the building was being constructed (it was finished in 1862) two workers started arguing over the whereabouts of their lunch. The fight, where one man accused the other of stealing his cheese sandwich, got heated and escalated into violence, resulting in one of the men falling to their death in the street below.
It was only later discovered that the sandwich hadn’t been stolen at all, and two mice were found nibbling the troublesome lunch. So, as a way of commemorating their colleague, workers added this memorial on the side of the finished building.
So whether you believe the story or not, make sure you look up to spot London’s tiniest sculpture next time you’re in EC3!