Ordinary looking row of London houses are hiding a huge secret – and people are stunned when they find out

IF YOU ever go for a stroll down Leinster Gardens in West London, you’d be forgiven for thinking it features an ordinary row of terrace houses.

Upon closer inspection you will find that the road is actually hiding a huge secret for a very important reason.

Numbers 23 and 24 are actually fake five-storey homes, with only a front facade and no rooms behind.

The homes share the same columns, balconies and exterior décor as the neighbouring homes, but eagle-eyed passers-by will notice they have blackened windows and no letterboxes.

The fake homes were made in the 1860s during the construction of the London Underground, specifically of a section that now forms part of the District and Circle line.

The underground was made using the oldest method of tunnelling “cut and cover”, which is when a trench is excavated and then walls and an overhead system are added for support.

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The houses were knocked down in 1868 to provide space for the steam trains at the time to vent off fumes and limit condensation in the tunnels.

However, local residents complained about the gap and the sight of the smoke, so a 5ft-thick concrete wall was installed to hide it.

Many practical jokers have taken advantage of the London quirky feature, with reports of takeaway shops receiving orders from the fake addresses.

In the 1930s, one prankster even made a fortune selling tickets for a charity ball held at one of the fake homes, and guests turned up in full evening dress and knocked on the false door.

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The homes have been featured on BBC drama Sherlock in an episode called 'His Last Vow'.

In the scene, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson – played by Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman – visit the spot.

TikTok user @livinglondonhistory recently uploaded a video of the fake houses, and many people were stunned.

One said: "This is awesome!"

Another added: "wow really interesting."

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