London's lost rivers

Posted on Thursday, January 6, 2022 by Vickie ClarkNo comments

Did you know that in many parts of London you could be standing within inches of one of its numerous lost rivers and not even realise it?

Turns out London was once abundant with pretty streams and rivers but as the City grew the marshlands and streams feeding the Thames began to get in the way of growth. This rapid expansion saw a majority of rivers degrade firstly into open sewers then closed underground ones.

 Map showing London’s rivers both under and over ground


Around twenty-one rivers were forced underground by the burgeoning city, but their impact on London's landscape remains. A clue to where these lost rivers once freely flowed can be found in the curvature of streets and the City’s place names.