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Jacob's Circle

A cache by heartstones1 Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 7/22/2010
1.5 out of 5
1 out of 5

Size: Size: micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

Used to be large enough from trackable but as of 11/03/16 temporarily a micro.

Placed just round the corner from 'The Circle' and Jacob

The famous courage dray horses were stabled on this site from the
early nineteenth century and delivered beer around London from the
brewery on Horselydown Lane, by Tower Bridge. In the sixteenth
century this area was known as Horselydown which derives its name
from Horse-Lie-Down, a thing that they did here before crossing the
river at London Bridge to enter the City of London.

According to the sculptor (Shirley Pace, 1987) : "My objective
was to portray the dignified tolerance and the power of these
horses plus the hint of resignation to men’s direction and
the vagaries of a cold wet windy winter."

The sculpture was lowered into place by helicopter.

This part of London was known as 'Jacob's Island'.
Jacob's Island was immortalised by Charles Dickens's novel Oliver Twist, in which the principal villain Bill Sikes meets a nasty end in the mud of 'Folly Ditch'. Dickens provides a vivid description of what it was like:

""... crazy wooden galleries common to the backs of half a dozen houses, with holes from which to look upon the slime beneath; windows, broken and patched, with poles thrust out, on which to dry the linen that is never there; rooms so small, so filthy, so confined, that the air would seem to be too tainted even for the dirt and squalor which they shelter; wooden chambers thrusting themselves out above the mud and threatening to fall into it - as some have done; dirt-besmeared walls and decaying foundations, every repulsive lineament of poverty, every loathsome indication of filth, rot, and garbage: all these ornament the banks of Jacob's Island."

It was also described by Henry Hayhew as:

"On entering the precincts of the pest island the air had literally the smell of a graveyard, and a feeling of nausea and heaviness came over any one unaccustomed to imbibe the moist atmosphere. Not only the nose, but the stomach told how heavily the air was loaded with sulphuretted hydrogen; and as soon as you crossed one of the crazy and rotten bridges over the reeking ditch, you knew, as surely as if you had chemically tested it, by the black colour of what was once white lead paint upon the door posts and window sills, that the air was thickly charged with this deadly gas. The heavy bubbles which now and then rose up in the water showed you whence at least a portion of the mephitic compound issued, while the open doorless privies that hung over the water-side, and the dark streaks of filth down the walls, where the drains from each house discharged themselves in to the ditch were proofs indisputable as to how the pollution of the ditch occurred.

The water was covered with scum almost like a cobweb, and prismatic with grease. In it floated large masses of rotting weed, and against the posts of the bridges were swollen carcases of dead animals, ready to burst with the gases of putrefaction. Along its shores were heaps of indescribable filth, the phosphoretted smell from which told you of the rotting fish there, while the oyster-shells were like pieces of slate from their coating of filth and mud. In some parts the fluid was as red as blood from the colouring matter that poured into it from the reeking leather dressers’ close by."

Its not quite that bad these days.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Haqre terra fgnvef
Purfg urvtug

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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