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The Lost Rivers that Lie Beneath London

January 16, 2017

The Lost Rivers that Lie Beneath London

From fishing, drinking water and 150 year old beautiful brick laying to sewage and subterranean history.

Andy Dangerfield on bbc.com

The remnants of the River Fleet flow below the Farringdon Road, in central London. EMMA LYNCH/BBC

Dozens of rivers and canals were buried beneath London's streets more than a century ago. How do they look today? To find traces of them you'll need to have a good ear, know where to look and visit some unlikely places.

Among the congested traffic of central London's St Pancras Road, around the corner from the glass and steel skyscrapers of the Euston Road, it is hard to imagine a river once ran through grassy fields.

But outside St Pancras Old Church is a plaque showing a sketch of people in that exact spot bathing on the banks of the Fleet in 1827. The river is one of many in London that was converted into a sewer as the capital's population grew.

Today, in many parts of the city you could be standing within inches of one of its lost rivers and not even realize it.

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