London's Lost Rivers by Paul Talling A book, a website and occasional guided walking tours
London's Lost Rivers is the latest book by Paul Talling Available in all bookshops or to order online via Foyles, Waterstones, Amazon and WH Smith
Here is a summary of the 22 lost rivers/streams/ditches, 8 canals and 8 docks/wharves that the 192 page book covers
Major Rivers River Westbourne - (Hampstead to Chelsea Bridge via Kilburn, Bayswater,Hyde Park, Knightsbridge & Sloane Square) River Tyburn - (Hampstead to Pimlico & Westminster via Regents Park, Marylebone, Mayfair & Buckingham Palace) River Fleet - (Hampstead & Highgate Ponds to Blackfriars Bridge via Camden Town, Kings Cross, Clerkenwell & Smithfield) River Walbrook - (Shoreditch to Cannon Street via the Bank of England) River Effra - (Upper Norwood to Vauxhall Bridge via West Norwood Cemetery, Tulse Hill, Herne Hill, Brixton & Kennington Oval)
Waterways of West London Bollo Brook - (Ealing Common to Chiswick via Gunnersbury & Turnham Green) Stamford Brook - (Acton to Furnival Gardens,Hammersmith) Parr's Ditch - (Brook Green to Riverside Studios, Hammersmith via Talgarth Rd) Counter's Creek/Kensington Canal - (Kensal Green Cemetery to Chelsea Creek via Shepherds Bush, Earl's Court & Stamford Bridge)
Waterways of Central London Grosvenor Canal - (Victoria to Chelsea Bridge via Pimlico) The Cumberland Arm - (Camden via Regents Park Barrracks) Tyburn Brook - (Marble Arch to the Serpentine, Hyde Park) The Cock and Pye Ditch (Seven Dials to Victoria Embankment via St Martins Lane)
Waterways of South London Falcon Brook - (Streatham to Battersea via Tooting Bec Common & Wandsworth) River Neckinger - (Elephant & Castle to Bermondsey) The Rotherhithe Mill Streams - (in and around Southwark Park Road) Earl's Sluice - (Denmark Hill to Deptford via the Old Kent Road) River Peck - (Honor Oak to Bermondsey via Peckham) The Grand Surrey Canal - (Camberwell to Rotherhithe via the Old Kent Road & Surrey Quays) Croydon Canal - (West Croydon to New Cross via Forest Hill & Brockley)
Waterways of East London The Black Ditch - (Shoreditch to Limehouse via Whitechapel & Stepney)City Canal - (Isle of Dogs) The Royal Arsenal Canal - (Woolwich) Romford Canal - (Romford to Dagenham)
Tributaries of the River Lea The Royal Gunpowder Mills Canals - (Waltham Abbey) Muswell Stream - (Muswell Hill to Palmers Green via Bounds Green) River Moselle - (Highgate to Tottenham via Wood Green & White Hart Lane) Carbuncle Ditch - (Tottenham) Hackney Brook - (Holloway to Old Ford via Stoke Newington & Hackney) Pudding Mill River - (Stratford)
Docks and Wharves The London Docks - (Wapping) The Surrey Commercial Docks - (Rotherhithe) Millwall Dock - (Isle of Dogs) Deptford Dockyard The West India Docks - (Isle of Dogs) The East India Docks - (Blackwall) The Royal Docks - (Canning Town, Silvertown & North Woolwich) Woolwich Dockyard
For more on Paul Talling's Lost Rivers ( plus photos of London's Lesser Known Rivers inc: the Wandle, Silk Stream, Ravensbourne, Hogsmill, Beverley Brook, the Brent, Dead River, the Bow Backs and more) plus guided walking tours go to: www.londonslostrivers.com
We’ve all heard of the River Fleet, right? Some of us have even paddled in it. Many will also know of the Tyburn, Westbourne, Hackney Brook and Neckinger. But have you ever encountered the Black Ditch or, right beneath Covent Garden, the Cock and Pye Ditch?
A new book from Paul Talling (you may remember him from such works as Derelict London) gets down and dirty with the capital’s ‘lost’ rivers. Even if you’ve previously dipped your toe into the subject, you’ll find much of interest here.
The format is spot on. Short bursts of text describe the tell-tale signs (look for ‘stink pipes’, sloping roads, and the sound of gushing water beneath manhole covers). Each watercourse is accompanied by an excellent selection of photos taken by the author.
Stretching the title somewhat, almost half the book is given to vanished canals and docks. No bad thing, as the same emphasis on spotting remnants is rewarding here, too. Clearly, a decision was made to only include waterways that are now completely or wholly invisible at surface level (i.e. ‘lost’). Hence the absence of the New River, the Ravensbourne, Wandle and Hogsmill, for example, which all retain lengthy open sections.
There’s plenty of competition in this watery space. A book of the same title, by sometime Londonist contributor Tom Bolton, is due out next month. A scholarly account of similar name has been around for years. Many of the rivers have been covered online by Diamond Geezer, and we’ve personally traced the Tyburn, Westbourne and Peck. Talling’s highly visual, fact-packed, waffle-free account is the freshest take we’ve yet seen. A must-buy for anyone who enjoys the ‘hidden’ side of London.