It is easy to miss London’s minor attractions if you don’t look closely as the city is filled with so many amazing yet small attractions.
Having said that, did you know that the tiniest bar in the world is located in a pub in Hammersmith? Did you know the tragic tale behind the smallest statue in London?
From art history luminaries such as Barbara Hepworth and Eduardo Paolozzi to a park full of weird reptiles, London has everything in terms of public sculptures.
You will come across a lot of sculptures, usually big, when you roam around the city, but did you know the smallest statue in London is actually a two mice statue?
Well, this guide will tell you in detail about the smallest statue in London, where it is located, the theory behind it, and a little more about other small statues in London.
Where Is The Smallest Statue In London?
The smallest statue in London is actually a Two Mice Statue, located in the historic core of the capital, close to the northern end of London Bridge, lies a little street called ‘Philpot Lane.’
Philpot Lane connects Eastcheap and Fenchurch Street; it was named after Sir John Philpot, the Lord Mayor of London from 1378 to 1379.
These two little mice are located halfway up a building on the southeastern side of Philpot Lane, close to the intersection with Eastcheap.
Who produced these creatures and how they were introduced here remain essentially unknown. Nevertheless, one thing is certain: these two tiny mice are a tribute to two adjacent builders who perished.
The construction crew in question was working on “The Monument,” a high column located 400 feet from Philpot Lane at the intersection of Fish Street Hill and Monument Street.
The Monument was constructed between 1671 and 1677 to commemorate the Great Fire of London, which devastated a large portion of the city a few years earlier.
At some time during the construction of the Monument, the two workers previously described sat down to eat their packed lunch of cheese and bread.
Evidently having a passion for heights, the two men, who were apparently good friends, were satisfied to sit on a high scaffold at their business (health and safety were nonexistent in those days).
Workers on the Monument were not even obliged to wear hard hats and high-visibility clothing!
However, something was not right as one of the men’s sandwiches was almost all consumed.
The victim of this food thievery quickly blamed his sitting companion and a brawl ensued, which was unwise given their elevated position.
Following an exchange of blows, the unlucky pair lost their balance and fell to their deaths.
Later, after similar abductions of bread and cheese, the true perpetrators were identified: A population of microscopic mice.
Sir Christopher Wren, one of London’s greatest architects, was responsible for its construction.
The Monument, a testament to Sir Wren’s brilliance, remains the tallest, most solitary stone pillar in the world.
What Is The Theory Behind The Smallest Statue of London?
The story of the sculpture begins at the Monument to the Great Fire of London in the 17th century.
During the years 1671 to 1677, two men worked on the construction site. One day, they perched 62 meters above the city on the scaffolding in preparation for their lunch break.
It is believed that the two men were buddies before one of them became distraught over his stolen cheese sandwich.
The man turned to his pal and accused his coworker of taking his lunch.
According to witnesses, the debate evolved into a full-fledged brawl, and both men fell to their deaths after losing their balance.
Tragically, it was ultimately determined that the offenders were mice.
To honor the two buddies, a little statue was erected. So the next time you’re having a rough day at work, spare a thought for the men who were killed by cheese sandwiches.
Hence, the real hypothesis is that the sculptures of the mice and cheese were erected to commemorate these individuals, however, the veracity of this account has been contested and the timings have been questioned.
Yet, the inquisitive animals remain, munching on their tiny reward.
Can You Find The Smallest Statue Easily?
The statue is quite difficult to locate if you do not know where to search.
The address of the building is Eastcheap, however, the tiny mice are located on Philpot. So, look up for these tiny violet rodents if you intend on exploring them.
Are There Any Other Smallest Statues In London?
A number of sculptures have been put across the City of London, establishing an art installation trail that brings together a roster of prominent artists from around the world.
Recently, a one-of-a-kind sculpture trail has been installed in the Square Mile to urge City employees, residents, and visitors to go on a voyage of discovery to learn the various layers of the shared past of London.
Eleven artists have placed new works in 2022. These additional sculptures join the six sculptures that remained from the previous iteration.
The sculptures along the route vary in shape, material, and dimensions. If we talk about the smallest sculptures, these little statues are put at each entry to the square mile of the City of London.
The dragon boundary signs can also be found made of cast-iron dragon statues on steel or stone plinths that define the City of London’s borders.
The design is inspired by two dragon sculptures that were mounted over the entrance to the Lower Thames Street Coal Exchange.
In 2022, the officials collaborated with Bloomberg to develop an app that enables guests to interact remotely with the sculptures.