Secret Sightseeing in London: Search for the Seven Noses of Soho
The search for seven noses of Soho is as intriguing as the title sounds. Set up in 1996-97 by artist Rick Buckley, these sporadic noses are scattered across the narrow alleys of Soho, better known as the LGBT hub of London. These seven noses are actually seven sculpted noses on Soho buildings. Most of them are Plaster of Paris (POP) reproductions of an artist’s nose. Initially, around 35 noses were attached to iconic London buildings like the National Gallery and the Tate Britain. Now, only 10 of them are believed to be surviving and seven of them are in Soho itself (except for the Pancras Station one).
However, no one has been able to find all the seven noses of Soho as some of the locations were not publicised at that time. In fact, there is the myth that if someone finds all the seven noses, he/she will be showered with unending bounty of happiness and prosperity. If you have plans to go on a pursuit of intrigue and extraordinariness, visit London. Additionally, make sure that you book a hotel in Soho London so that you remain as close to this alluring hunt as possible. Who knows, you might be the first one to smell all the seven noses and acquire fortuitous wealth?
The First Nose-Admiralty Arch
This is the first stop for you while you are on a trail for seven noses. Admiralty arch is one of the best-known historic buildings of London. One of the most alluring attractions of this building is the quintuple arched ceremonial gateway (i.e. five arches that served as a gateway in the past). Though the Arch was designed to provide a ceremonial passage from the Trafalgar Square towards Buckingham Palace, the central Arch passage is reserved for State occasions only.
The nose at the Admiralty Arch is located on the inside wall of the northernmost arch. A slight protrusion, almost the shape and size of a human nose, this nose was designed by Rick Buckley. This protrusion is at the height of seven feet from the ground level.
The Second Nose – Windmill Street
Great Windmill Street is the second place where you can hope to find one of the seven elusive noses. The street runs from north to south in Soho and is a popular place to hangout. Some of the major attractions of London like Piccadilly Circus and the West End are just minutes away from this street.
Searching for the nose is an arduous task here. You will find lot of protruding bumps in the wall here. However, one enlarged bump on the wall of the former Windmill Theatre is considered as one of the seven noses. This unusual distension is in the shape of an elongated nose. The appearance, though, is vague and very faintly resembles a nose in structure. You can visit the Windmill Street and see for yourself whether it is a nose or not.
The Third Nose – Meard Street
You will find one of the most easily recognisable noses of your pursuit at the Meard Street. Named after John Meard, (carpenter and esquire who developed this street), the Meard Street is between Wardour Street to the West and Dean Street to the East. The road is in two sections with a bend in the middle.
As far as the nose of this street is concerned, it is reasonably large and flesh coloured. The location of the nose is high above on the street wall, though. Unless you are in the hunt for seven noses, you might even skip this protruding structure.
Trivia about Soho Noses
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The Fourth Nose – Bateman Street
The fourth nose awaits you in the Bateman Street. Closest to Soho (only a minute’s walk), this street is surrounded by a plethora of bars, restaurants and attractions.
You will have to amplify the attention level when you reach this place, as the nose here is of same colour as the walls of the street themselves. At the second section of the street, is the Dog and Duck Pub. Just few steps away from this bar, will you find a small projection in the form of a human nose and there is your fourth nose!
The Fifth Nose – Dean Street
Running between Oxford Street to the North and Shaftesbury Avenue to the South, Dean Street is your next destination for the “great nose-hunting” search. It is literally surrounded by some of the busiest lanes of the London city.
The nose at this street is located on the walls of Leonis Quo Vadis, a delightful dining room in Soho. This perfectly sculpted structure is one of the noses, which is in a good condition.
The Sixth Nose – D’arbly Street
Rumours have it that D’arbly Street is home to the sixth nose. The truth, however, is something else. You will find a skull hanging at the walls of Sir Tom Baker, one of the best tailoring shops in London. But, if you are looking for a nose, then it will be disappointing as there are no remarkable nose-shaped structures here. You can, for your own satisfaction, add the pinched nose of the skull to your list to make it six!
The Seventh Nose - St Pancras Station
The search for the seven noses formally ends at the St Pancras Station. This Grade I listed building boasts a Victorian architecture and is one of the most aesthetically designed railway stations in London. The railway station is a tourist attraction in itself with flattering architecture, facilities of a restaurant and one of the biggest champagne bars in London.
The nose at this building is a small cream coloured structure with the pink walls adding to the background. Though not as popular as other noses of Soho, this nose is still worth a visit for you to add on to your nosy list!
The hunt for the seven noses of Soho would be one of the most captivating and exhilarating experience for you. Keep the “nose-hunting” on the top of your itinerary and plunge into this enchanting chase.