The Philpot Lane Mice

Philpot Lane Mice Photo Sandra LawrenceHow is it possible to miss a sculpture in the middle of the City for over 100 years? For many, many years, no one, apparently, knew London’s smallest outside sculpture was there at all, until somebody noticed a white plaster blob halfway up a nondescript Victorian building wasn’t just a sloppy bit of cornicing.

It’s actually a pair of tiny mice, fighting over a piece of cheese. Not great art; a bit blobby round the edges, but very definitely mice.

Stories abound, of workmen commemorating their lunch being eaten by furry fiends, tales of builders fighting or even falling off scaffolding to their deaths, but truth is, no one really knows which Victorian plasterer added this little touch of whimsy to an otherwise dull façade or why they did it.

All I know is it took me two dedicated efforts to find them. Even when you know they’re there, they seem to hide in plain sight.

The Philpot Lane Mice have been painted now so they’re slightly easier to spot, but will still exercise the skills of the average mouse-detective. I was going to reveal the exact address, but have instead decided the search is part of the tiny rodents’ appeal.

All I’ll say is Philpot Lane is short, the mice are definitely there; knock yourself out…Philpot Lane Mice  cloesupPhoto Sandra Lawrence

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