High up a building in the City of London, two mice are locked in immortal battle over a lump of cheese, neither side seemingly willing to give up the battle until the stones around them crumble to dust.


These are the Philpot Lane mice, and are said to be the smallest public sculpture in London, and no one really knows why they are there, or who put them there.

It is variously claimed that they are in memory of two workmen who got into a fight over a half-eaten lunch, and fell to their deaths, only for mice to be discovered as the real lunch thieves afterwards.

This macabre tale has however absolutely no proof other than repeated telling by tour guides and taxi drivers.


The building itself dates from 1861/2 and is now listed, so the mice should be preserved in their timeless battle forever more.


You can find the Philpot Lane mice on the joint between Cafe Nero and Jamies Bar just off Eastcheap, where the two decorative bands don’t quite line up.


Be the first to know what's on in London, and the latest news published on ianVisits.

You can unsubscribe at any time from my weekly emails.

Tagged with:

This website has been running now for over a decade, and while advertising revenue contributes to funding the website, it doesn't cover the costs. That is why I have set up a facility with DonorBox where you can contribute to the costs of the website and time invested in writing and research for the news articles.

It's very similar to the way The Guardian and many smaller websites are now seeking to generate an income in the face of rising costs and declining advertising.

Whether it's a one-off donation or a regular giver, every additional support goes a long way to covering the running costs of this website, and keeping you regularly topped up doses of Londony news and facts.

If you like what you read on here, then please support the website here.

Thank you

  1. Jonathan Wadman says:

    I didn’t know about this until now – it’s charming and I’ll keep an eye out for it next time I’m in the area. But is it smaller than the nose on Admiralty Arch?

  2. Joanna Cronin says:

    lovely. what nose on Admiralty Arch?

Home >> News >> History