Christopher Wren never slept here
Sandwiched between two of London's best-known tourist attractions is a house so humble in appearance it is overlooked by the mass of passing sightseers. Its fascinating history is the subject of a new book.
"Here lived Sir Christopher Wren during the building of St Paul's cathedral," proclaims an ornate ceramic plaque on the house on the south bank of the river Thames.
"Here also, in 1502, Catherine Infanta of Castile and Aragon, afterwards first queen of Henry VIII, took shelter on her first landing in London," it adds proudly.
Rubbish, Gillian Tindall responds.
Wren stayed a few houses up the road.
And Spanish princesses, let alone future queens, do not stay in waterfront inns, she observes tartly.
The author ought to know.
Her new book, The House on the Thames and the People who Lived There, traces the 300-year history of the building labelled Cardinal's Wharf, sandwiched between the Tate Modern art gallery and the reconstructed Globe theatre, where Shakespeare's plays are once again performed.
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