Smithfield, centre of the universe

Smithfield, centre of the universe
By Mark Mason on 20-05-13 13:52. Comments (1)
This weekend I learned something new about Smithfield Market, that Victorian beauty situated between the Old Bailey and Farringdon Tube station. It's always been one of my London favourites, and not just because you can get a drink there at five in the morning (its pubs are allowed to open at that time because the market workers have been up all night). There are the traditional red phone boxes in its central section (including some K2s, the early versions made especially tall so that men in top hats could use them). And, of course, there are the first-rate fry-ups to be had in the neighbouring cafes. But above all, I love the way the market - which has taken place there for over 800 years - is linked to just about every part of London, and has left its stamp on the entire city.

Showing 1 - 1 of 1 Articles

< Previous 1 Next >

Other pages in this section...




Inspired by my book Walk the Lines: the London Underground - Overground, each of these trivia-packed walks uncovers London’s history by following a section of a Tube line ... at street level.


Tailor made quizzes


Aural delights from the world of trivia


Rubik's Cube

A Rubik’s cube has more combinations than light travels inches in a century. This is my favourite illustration of how a very small number of factors can produce an absurdly complicated situation. A silly little toy, with only three squares in each of its three dimensions. How can that get complicated? Well, as anyone who's ever tried to solve one just by guessing will tell you, it gets very complicated. The number of possible combinations is 43,252,003,274,489,856,000. Forget billions - that's 43 quintillion and change. (In fact the cube's manufacturers just said ‘billions' in their advertising, figuring that no one would know what a quintillion was. It's a billion billion.) The number of inches light travels in a century, meanwhile, is a mere 37,165,049,856,000,000,000. Or thereabouts.