.. ..Is about the past, the criminal and criminal life in London. It was easy to be a criminal in the past, so the criminal mind and what it takes to have one, then and now, is interesting. The tours – and this site, bring some of the more gruesome elements of the past back to life through the telling of the stories, as well as guiding through the places where these things happened. This is done in an educational, entertaining and informative way – without judgement, disrespect – without turning the past into a nasty and inappropriate theme park journey. A lot of people understandably visit London’s attractions that deal with its nasty past, however these tours help the layman and tourist engage with the past by learning about the characters that lived then. The stories, events and people continue to resonate.
Hearts and mind were not as developed and sophisticated as they are now. Plague, disease, death, fear and misery were commonplace, so much so that it is a miracle that we have survived, but we have. The detail here will put modern thinking and feeling into perspective.
Historical dramas, with one or two exceptions, rare deal with the cruel and gruesome detail..,,but in truth, people until quite recently would watch death, mutilation and torture and consider it entertainment.

Mutilations, openly performed were watched, as were eviscerations and executions in places now that are busy thoroughfares. And for hundreds and hundreds of years these were a ways and means of controlling a deeply ignorant and suspicious public. These were a way of acting as warning to an intellectually and emotionally redundant citizen whose life was cruel, nasty and short. Until quite recently, the afterlife was more sought and focused upon that the miserable existence on earth; this made religion a vital part of the inner thinking and life of a citizen of the past. London was and still is a densely populated environment, so the brutality was more widespread.

London is an old city. A lot of evidence of these events and stories has not surprisingly gone. But The City of London still has the same shape and size reminiscent of the old Roman settlement, with the six ‘gates’ still characterising is scope. The River Thames reeks of history and still has a creepy kinetic energy to it, especially in the dark winter when it is cold and uninviting. The tours are designed to reinvigorate that energy in the modern imagination, to reintroduce the various stages of the development of a major city through its response to its criminality. Thousands died in areas we now associate with commerce and industry. Amazing now to think of Oxford Street as Tyburn Lane and a thoroughfare we used to carry those about to be hanged through, to an accompanying and gleeful procession.

About the active toursThere are currently 5 active tours: four of these run from April to October, 3 Sex & Vice Tours and the Pint & Prayer Pilgrimage. Christmas Dickens runs from the second week in November to the last Saturday before Christmas.

There are 16 tours in total – with the remaining 11 rolling out incrementally, all of which are for Adults Only, with the exception of Gruesome Histories for Kids which is aimed at UK based school children 8 – 12 years. These will run all year.

3 Adult Only Tours