The Cornhill Devils – London, England - Atlas Obscura

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The Cornhill Devils

These Victorian era devil sculptures were designed to spite a local vicar.  


A trio of malevolent demons perch menacingly upon the cornices of 54-55 Cornhill Street and leer down at those passing by below. These hideous imps are known locally as the “Devils of Cornhill” and the grotesque, terracotta sculptures are the subject of an interesting and humorous piece of local folklore.

As the legend goes, the origin story of the “Cornhill Devils” is said to have been the creative revenge of an architect who constructed the building during the Victorian era. 

It’s said that during the construction, the architect accidentally encroached on land that was owned by the neighboring church. This offended the vicar who made an enormous fuss. The lengthy dispute that followed between the two men is said to have delayed work and greatly frustrated the architect. 

The “Cornhill Devils,” according to legend, came as a rather unholy finishing touch to the completed building. A parting gesture of sorts from the architect to the clergyman next door.

Know Before You Go

You can see the devils perched on the top of the building at 54-55 Cornhill street from the street below. 

The best vantage points are from the entrances of White Lion Court and Sun Court. The devils are near the top of the red stone building currently housing Benjy's takeaway. 

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October 1, 2021

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