Esoteric London

No. 295: University Street, WC1

Posted in Museums by esotericlondon on April 15, 2011

© Roger Dean_RED6148- Roger.Dean.RGB copy

The Grant Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy, Rockefeller Building, University College London, University Street, London, WC1. Photo © Roger Dean 2011

The origin of the London slang term for £500 being a “monkey” is unknown but one school of thought suggests it arrived in the capital with soldiers returning from India where the 500 rupee note featured the animal. Once back in England the soldiers continued to use the term for five hundred pounds sterling.

[The Grant Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy was established in 1827 by Robert Edmond Grant. Originally intended as a teaching collection for the newly founded University of London, the museum, which has acquired several other zoological collections over the years, still fulfils this function but it is now open to the general public. I would heartily recommend a visit. R.D.]