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More from Tom Almeroth-Williams

The Exeter Change Menagerie

Elephants, big cats, monkeys and everything in between all packed into a first-floor petting zoo. What could go wrong? Lots, it turned out, but not before Exeter Change became one of Georgian London’s most famous attractions introducing thousands of people to exotic beasts from around the world for the very first time.

The King’s Mews

Before The National Gallery, a gigantic Georgian stable complex stood here, tending to the needs of over 200 royal horses and housing dozens of workers. The King’s Mews was at the heart of one of the biggest urban horse populations in the world and an equestrian craze that gripped an entire nation.

Smithfield livestock market

Before Smithfield sold meat, it sold live animals and lots of them – thousands of cattle, sheep and pigs every single week – all of which had to be driven on-the-hoof through the streets of the world’s busiest city. The trade was worth a fortune but wreaked havoc.

More in United Kingdom

The Air Loom Villains

1797: from a cell in Bedlam, James Tilly Matthews believes a gang of villains are controlling politicians and nobility using the terrible Air Loom. Find out who they are and their plans for Britain’s downfall. [CW: mental illness, torture]