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.

Nearest railway stations

  1. Monument
  2. London Fenchurch Street
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3 comments on “Find London’s smallest public sculpture
  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?

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