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Lifting the lid on London, Spectacular Vernacular reveals the stories behind its 100 strangest and most enigmatic buildings. Some are open to the public, if you kw who to ask. Others remain strictly off-limits, thus heightening the sense of mystery surrounding them. But many are so familiar that few of us ever stop to consider just how curious they are. In the heart of Kensington, for example, a 300ft tower attracts few glances that even most locals don't kw it's there. South of the river the city's widest building at nearly 1,000ft has been favourably compared to the Winter Palace at St Petersburg. And in Chelsea a medieval hall, once home to a king and moved brick by brick from the City to excape demolition, is w being remodelled as London's largest private house. Elsewhere one finds an arts centre built of old shipping containers, a Victiorian explorer lying dead in a tent, literally acres of secret undergound government offices, even a private tunnel used for running cable-cars under the Thames. Think you kw London? Well, it's time to reconsider.
David Long is a freelance journalist and author. He has contributed to many newspapers and magazines including The Times, the Sunday Times, the Sunday Mirror and the Evening Standard.