- The cellars beneath the Viaduct Tavern in Newgate Street contain the last remaining cells from the notorious Newgate Prison, now used as beer-cellars (the staff will let you in if you ask nicely);
- Somerset House's "Dead House," in the Strand is a grim and ancient tomb, practically next door to the post-office box where I've been getting my mail for seven years;
- A rare surviving "sewer venting lamp" outside Charing Cross station, which lit up the streets of London with "firedamp" rising from the foetid Victorian cloaca;
- Dennis Severs House, in Brick Lane (around the corner from our regular Sunday breakfast), a huge, mouldering row house formerly owned by a Canadian artist who filled it with junk antiques and curiosities, now open to the public;
- The Mummy of Jimmy Garlick, in St James Garlickhythe Church in Garlick Hill -- a body that lay in state during the Great Fire was mummified by a trick of the great heat, which rested for centuries behind the church organ (exhibited to curiousity seekers for a few pennies), then moved to the hymnal cupboard, and finally located in dusty bell-tower, where he can be seen by appointment only;
- A hidden pet cemetery in Hyde Park, where "hundreds of mildewed miniature headstones" mark the final resting places of dogs, cats, birds and a monkey;
- The Crossbones Graveyard, a plague pit filled with 15,000 dead (including the local whores, who were called "punchable nuns" in the parlance of the day) that is now used as a bus-parking yard by Transport for London to the outrage of some Londoners, who stage a monthly memorial at the site at 7PM on the 23d of each month.
I picked up Secret London by the register at Clerkenwell Tales in London's Exmouth Market, near my office, where they have done an absolutely brilliant job of curating a display of quirky, interesting and beautiful books.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.