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London's Lost Rivers by Paul Talling

London's Lost Rivers

by Paul Talling

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More of a 'picture-book' than I was expecting, but they are very good pictures. Some interesting history, perhaps best read by those who can remember the rivers, or at least the old (often smelly!) outlets and districts.
  John_Vaughan | May 27, 2014 |
The Fleet was legendarily filthy. Redesigned as a Venetian-style canal by Christopher Wren after the Fire of London, it was quickly overtaken by grim reality. Jonathan Swift, in 1710, wrote about the Fleet filled with “the sweepings from butchers’ stalls, dung, guts and blood.” A few years later Alexander Pope described how “Fleet-ditch with disemboguing streams / Rolls the large tribute of dead dogs to the Thames.” It is no surprise then that the lower Fleet was culverted in huge storm sewer tunnels where it has remained ever since. Yet before the river became more trouble than it was worth, it was a crucial route in as well as out. Everything from Welsh cheese to coals from Newcastle arrived at the Fleet wharves, and even the stones for Old St. Paul’s Cathedral were unloaded here.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 184794597X, Paperback)

A beautifully illustrated guide to London's secret rivers
From the sources of the River Fleet in Hempstead's ponds, to the mouth of the Effra by Vauxhall Bridge, via the meander of the Westbourne through "Knight's Bridge" and the Tyburn's gentle curve along Marylebone Lane, London's Lost Rivers unearths the hidden waterways that flow beneath the streets of the capital. It investigates how the rivers shaped the city—forming borough boundaries, providing paths for railways to follow, and converted into canals to assist the capital's industrial growth, or turned into underground sewers to make way for smart residential estates. It points out traces that are still visible today, such as steps descending an old riverbank in Bayswater, or a river-filled pipe passing above Sloane Square Underground Station. And it explains the watery history to more familiar London sights—the impressive Holborn Viaduct, for example, constructed to span the Fleet Valley; and the Serpentine Lake, formed when Queen Caroline wanted to dam the Westbourne where it flowed through Hyde Park.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:23 -0400)

From the sources of the Fleet in Hampsteads ponds to the mouth of the Effra in Vauxhall, via the meander of the Westbourne through Knights Bridge and the Tyburns curve along Marylebone Lane, 'London's Lost Rivers' unearths the hidden waterways that flow beneath the streets of the capital.… (more)

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