Known to most of my readers, I offer a free self-guided Iron Maiden London Walk as part of ‘Walks Beyond Time And Place‘. However, there are (obviously) some locations had to be left out because they were to far away from the chosen route. Still, I’d like to give Maiden fans the opportunity to visit them. So here are 3 more Iron Maiden locations in London (and how to get there).
You can find and download my Maiden walk as a free PDF that includes photographs and maps with direction here:
1. London Bridge (Song: Man On The Edge)
The name London Bridge is famous all over the world, although many tourists mistake Tower Bridge for London Bridge. London Bridge consisted of many bridges on this site throughout the centuries.
The famous nursery rhyme ‘London Bridge Is Falling Down’ can in fact still be heard underneath London Bridge (coming from the boxes of The London Bridge Experience).
Also, this nursery rhyme is a recurring motif in the 1993 film Falling Down, directed by Joel Schumacher and written by Ebbe Roe Smith. The crime drama stars Michael Douglas and depitcs a man’s mental collapse and going on a violent rampage through Los Angeles trying to get to his daughter’s birthday party at his ex-wife’s house.
This film was the inspiration for the Blaze Bayley/Janick Gers song ‘Man On The Edge’ from the album The X Factor (1995). It was the first Iron Maiden single with Blaze on vocals and the only Maiden song with two official music videos.
Nearest tube station: London Bridge station. When leaving, you can either go to the Thames and walk through the bridge’s arches (there is Southwark Cathedral next to it) or you can go up and cross the bridge to walk into the City of London. You can see it in my video ‘Rush hour in London: A walk from London Bridge to St Katharine Docks via The Monument and Tower Hill‘ (right at the beginning):
2. Plaque to William Wallace (Song: The Clansman)
The classic Maiden song ‘The Clansman’, written by Steve Harris on the 1998 album Virtual XI, has, according to Steve, ‘a Celtic flavor to the music, which is why I wrote the lyrics about the Scottish clans. They were inspired also by the Braveheart and Rob Roy films.’
The film Braveheart from 1995 is an epic historical drama with Mel Gibson as William Wallce, a 13th-century warrior, who led Scotland into the First War of Scottish Indipendence agsinst King Edward I of England. The film was praised and nominated for several awards. Its story is based on an epic poem by Blind Harry (1440-1492) called ‘The Actes and Deidis of the Illustre and Valleyant Campioun Schir William Wallace’.
Sir William Wallace (‘Braveheart’) was executed on what was once called Smoothfield in the City of London. Now called Smithfield, the memorial can be found opposite Smithfield Market’s southern entrance on the outer wall of St Bartholomew’s Hospital. Smithfield was the site of the famous Bartholomew Fair, but also a place of execution. During the reign of Mary Tudor, a huge number of protestants were burned to death here.
Nearest tube stations: The closest tube stations are Farrindgon or Barbican. From there walk to Smithfield Market and make your way across Smithfield towards St Bartholomew’s Hospital. The plaque is close to the Priory Church of St Bartholomew The Great. You can see the plaque and the surrounding are in my video ‘Haunted and Secret London: A City of London Walk (St Paul’s, Postman’s Park, Barbican, Smithfield)‘ (at around 31:51):
3. Marble Arch (Song: Hallowed Be Thy Name)
In the north eastern corner of Hyde Park is Marble Arch. Close by stood the gallows of Tyburn, the execution site in London from 1571 to 1783. Prisoners from Newgate came the three miles from the prison to Tyburn for public executions. For the public, there ‘was no bigger attraction in the capital than the public execution. A kind of carnival atmosphere greeted the unfortunate victims, many spectators having stayed up drinking all night to be sure of a good view’ (Jones, Steve: London… The Sinister Side, p. 74. 2002).
After the prominent gallows at Tyburn had been removed, public executions took place outside Newgate Goal, where the Old Bailey now stands (quite close to point no. 2 on our list actually).
Hanging at the gallows (a wooden frame used to hanging or torture when being hanged, drawn and quartered) is the topic of ‘Hallowed By Thy Name’, written by Steve Harris on The Number of The Beast (1982). According to Maiden biographer Stjepan Juras, ‘the gallows took its form from the Roman Furca when Constantine the Great abolished crucifixion’ (Iron Maiden for Maiden Kids, p. 29). The tolling of the bell at the beginning of the Maiden song is actually a historic reference to the tolling of the bell at The Church of the Holy Sepulchre without Newgate that stands directly opposite the Old Bailey and the former Newgate Prison. The great bell in the churches’ tower was once rung when Newgate prisoners were led to their execution.
Nearest tube station: The closest tube station is Marble Arch.
I hope you enjoyed these three more Iron Maiden locations in London! You can find and download my proper Maiden walk as a free PDF that includes photographs and maps with direction here:
This walk is completely free, however if you do wish to support your favourite London expert, you can buy me a pint of ale via PayPal.