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More from Tom Almeroth-Williams

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.

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.

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The Golden Boy at Cock Lane

The statue of the Golden Boy marks the spot where the Great Fire of London was finally stopped. It sits at the corner of Cock Lane in Smithfield, so-named because of the many brothels lining the street.