Walking the path of the River Fleet, from its source to where it joins the River Thames.

This map above shows the path of the River Fleet shown in blue, and the walking route is shown in purple. There are a number of purple spots with a walker icon on them that identify points of interest on the route. If you want to view the map on a computer, or in a separate mobile phone browser window, you can use this URL : tinyurl.com/fleetingglimpses

The River Fleet runs, from it’s source on Hampstead Heath, roughly south east to join the Thames at Blackfriars. As London grew, the Fleet became altered, polluted, and gradually ducted and covered over. Today, it still runs, on or near it’s original route.  The river can be heard and seen under a few gratings in the road, and it also leaves a lingering memory in the names of streets, and places that used to be the river or its banks.

This walk follows the path of the Fleet, looking at clues that reveal it’s history.

NOTE: The beginning of this walk, on Hampstead Heath, can be a little muddy after heavy rain. Suitable footwear is advised.


The walk is designed to be used directly from your phone. 

Just scroll down to start the walk using your phone.

There are links within the text to more information about things that are discussed in the walk. You can follow these up later if you wish. 

In the walk: 
- Directions are shown in black text.
- History notes are shown in blue text.
- Further info. links are shown in brown text.


In Roman times (mid-first century to the fifth century), the Fleet was a large river, used by the Romans to help protect the western side of Londinium.

ABOVE: Reconstruction drawing of Londinium, c. 120 AD
CC BY-SA 2.0 - Thanks to Carole Raddato from FRANKFURT, Germany and one more author - Flickr

In Anglo Saxon times (fifth to the eleventh century) the mouth of the Fleet, where it enters the Thames, was around 90 metres wide. There were a lot of wells and springs along the Fleet banks. The Anglo-Saxon word “fleot” meant “tidal inlet”, which is how the Fleet got it’s name.

In the middle ages, the Fleet was used to transport goods between Holborn and the Thames. This part of the Fleet River was navigable until at around the early 1300’s. 

Because on the increase in London’s population, the Fleet got used more and more for waste disposal. The river took waste from tanneries, latrines and slaughterhouses. It created a terrible stench, that was so bad, in 1290 local residents, including the Black Friars, the Prior of a group of Carmelite Friars, and a Bishop, started a petition to have something done about the unhealthy state of the Fleet.

However, because there was no official, organised way for businesses to dispose of foul waste, the Fleet continued to be polluted. In 1343, because butchers were dumping animal waste in the streets, they were instructed by the authorities to dump the waste in the Fleet instead. The lower portion of the river, which was just a fetid sewer at that point, came to be known as the “Fleet Ditch.”

After the Great Fire of London in 1666, the part of the Fleet below where the Holborn Viaduct is now was changed into the “New Canal”. This was used to unload goods from the north-east of England, transported by sea, particularly coal.

From the mid 1700’s onwards, the River Fleet through the City was covered over little by little, and was incorporated into storm relief drains. The first part to be covered was the New Canal, mentioned earlier. After this, the next section to be covered was between King’s Cross and St Pancras Old Church. By the mid 1800’s most of the Fleet had been covered over, the only sections left open were at the Fleet’s origin, Hampstead Heath.

This walk follows the path of the Fleet, from where it rises, down to Blackfriars Bridge, where it emerges into the Thames.


(Hampstead Tube Station) 

  • When you leave Hampstead Tube Station, turn left and walk down Hampstead High Street. 

  • Turn first left into Flask Walk, and continue until you get to the Flask Pub.

The oldest part of this pub dates from 1663 and the main part dates from the 1720s, with the main bar dating from about 1800.

The name of the pub arises from it’s early days when the pub sold (as well as alcohol) empty flasks, so that visitors could collect supposedly health giving water from the spring at the rear of the pub, and also from the nearby Hampstead Heath and Highgate areas.

  • Continue to walk along Flask Walk, which will open out into a road. Walk on the right side.

  • On the left you will pass the Wells and Campden Baths and Wash Houses, built in 1888 and converted to housing 1985.

  • At the end of Flask Walk, continue ahead into Well Walk. 

  • Cross over Christchurch Hill and continue on Well Walk, passing the Wells Tavern, built in around 1849. 

  • On the left side of Well Walk you will come to the Chalybeate Well.

The reason for all the wells and springs in this area is that beneath the topsoil, Hampstead and Hampstead Heath have a layer of sand containing a variety of different minerals laying on top of a thick London Clay layer.

When it rains, the water quickly passes through the sand layer, before getting to the layer of London Clay which then acts as a barrier. The rainwater then runs downhill between the sand and clay layers. When the sand layer ends, the rainwater appears out of the ground as a spring.

The different minerals in the sand layer impart various flavours, and supposedly health giving qualities to the water.

The word chalybeate means “containing or tasting of iron”, which is how the Chalybeate Well got its name.

The trustees of the Well advertised the medicinal qualities of the waters from 1700.

  • Carry on walking on along Well Walk. After a few metres on the right, there is a plaque on a house called Wellside.

This plaque commemorates this as the site of the Old Hampstead Assembly and Pump Room. Here was a grand building where well-off people would “take the waters” and socialise.

ABOVE: Hampstead Assembly and Pump Room in Well Walk
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images.

  • At the end of Well Walk, cross over East Heath Road. Turn left and walk uphill on East Heath Road to the Corporation of London, Hampstead Heath sign on the right.  

  • Take the path behind the sign on the Heath, leading left past a number of old fashioned lamp posts.

  • This area of Hamstead Heath is called the Vale of Health. Walk on until you get to the Vale of Health Pond on the left. 

ABOVE: Vale of Health Pond
The Vale of Health, surrounded by Hampstead Heath, is now among the most exclusive and expensive residential areas in the world. However, it started life with a much lower status. Originally it was a boggy area called Hatchett’s Bottom.

As London expanded, it gradually became a home to laundries, factories, and a place that hosted noisy travelling fairgrounds.

The new name “Vale of Health” was chosen when the houses were built there. It’s suggested that name was chosen to try to associate the area with the nearby health spas, and improve it’s image.

Although a posh place now, there is still a remnant of his former self. Along one edge of the Vale of Health there is still a caravan park where fairground employees live in the off season, which for more that 100 years has been owned by the same family.

The Vale of Health is part of the western origin of the River Fleet. There is also an eastern origin on the other (Highgate) side of Parliament Hill. On both sides the origins start at a number of points, and now run through strings of swimming ponds. The two arms of the Fleet join together at Camden Town. You can see this on the map at the top of this web page. The purple line shows the route you are taking, the blue lines the paths of the fleet.

  • With the Vale of Health Pond on your left, turn right on to the path (called the Tree Hug)  leading down hill. It can be muddy here after rain, if it is, cut through the trees in the general direction of the path.

  • There is a valley with a small stream flowing from left to right. Turn right to keep following on this side of the stream, keeping it on your left.

  • When you come to a wide path, turn left and walk a few metres down it. Before reaching the stream, turn right down a slope and follow the path, again keeping the stream on your left. 

  • Eventually you will start to pass a number of ponds on your left.
  • The pathway will curve to the left after passing the last pond. Continue on the path until it ends at South End Road. Walk left on South End Road road, passing Hampstead Heath Overground station on your left hand side.

  • At the junction with Constantine Road and Pond Street (public toilets here) continue in the same direction to cross the junction and enter Fleet Road.

  • Continue on Fleet Road which curves left and then right, following the path of the Fleet. Just after these curves the road bends sharp left, and then turns right into Southampton Road.

  • After about 265 metres, Southampton Road curves to the left and becomes Malden Road.

  • Continue down Malden Road to the junction with Prince of Wales Road. Cross over the Prince of Wales Road and go straight ahead into Malden Crescent.

  • Continue along Malden Crescent, when it becomes Ferdinand Street.

  • At the end of Ferdinand Street, turn left into Chalk Farm Road.

  • Continue along Chalk Farm Road for about 260 metres, walk straight on under Camden Lock Bridge, where the road becomes Camden High Street.

  • Continue along Camden High Street for about another 400 metres. 

  • Immediately after passing Camden Town Tube Station on your left, you will come to the junction of a number of roads. To your left, between a NatWest bank and the World’s End pub, is Greenland Street. 

  • Cross over the roads and walk down Greenland Street.

As mentioned earlier, so far you have been walking the approximate route of the western arm of the source of the River Fleet. This started at the Vale of Health, on the western side of Parliament Hill. 

About 400 metres north of the spot you are now standing, under Kentish Town Road, near Quinns Pub, is the place where the eastern arm of the source of the Fleet joins the western arm. 

The western arm of the Fleet source starts near Kenwood House, passes through a string of what are now swimming ponds, before it goes through Kentish Town to then join the eastern arm of the source, just north of here. The name 'Kentish Town' is not connected to the county of Kent. It is thought to be derived from the Old-English name, Ken-ditch or Caen-ditch, meaning the "bed of a waterway." 

  • Cross over Bayham Street and continue on Greenland Street.

  • At the end of Greenland Street is a junction with Camden Street. Turn right and walk along Camden Street, then turn first left into Georgiana Street.

On the left hand side of Georgiana Street, where it meets with Lyme Street, is the Prince Albert Pub. Outside it, in the road, is a small grating with four rectangular holes. This is a breather hole for the River Fleet, flowing underground in a sewer pipe towards the Thames.

  • From the Prince Albert pub, stay on Georgiana Street and cross over Royal College Street to rejoin Georgiana Street on the other side, heading towards the Constitution Pub. When you get to the Constitution Pub, cross St Pancras Way and turn right.

There is a bridge next to the Constitution Pub where you can see the Regent's Canal. In 1801 this canal was opened to link the Grand Junction Canal's Paddington Arm with the Thames at Limehouse. 

  • Continue down St Pancras Way.

St Pancras Way was once part of the route of the Fleet. It bends left and right to follow the bends in the river that was once here.

  • After about 580 metres, at the end of St Pancras Way, is St Pancras Hospital.

St Pancras workhouse was relocated here in 1809. When workhouses were phased out in the 1930’s, the buildings became a hospital, shared with the London School of Tropical Medicine. The L.S.T.M. later moved out and became today’s London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in Bloomsbury. 

  • After the hospital, turn left along Pancras Road. After about 170 metres, on the left, is St Pancras Old Church.

In AD 597, a mission of evangelical Roman monks arrived here, carrying relics of St Pancras. The monks built the first St Pancras Church here, making the site one of the oldest places of Christian worship in the UK, and possibly in Europe.

ABOVE RIGHT: The version of the church which was built in 1847. ABOVE LEFT: The late tudor version, which incorporated parts of the Anglo - Saxon building and which reused some Roman tiles.

The north wall of the current building has a section of exposed Norman masonry. 

In 1847, when the church was last rebuilt, evidence was found of an Anglo-Saxon period church here. Also, some re-used Roman tiles were found embedded in the walls. The 1847 version of the church replaced a mostly late Tudor Church, which itself had evidence of earlier structures built into it. 

Like the current church, the original church would have sat on a raised mound area, and would have overlooked the River Fleet. The hillock may have been deliberately made to sit above the flood plain of the Fleet.

There are some items of interest in the churchyard:

ABOVE LEFT: Remains of Hardy's Tree
ABOVE CENTRE: Burdett-Coutts Memorial Sundial
ABOVE RIGHT: Sir John Soane Tomb CC BY-SA 3.0 - Thanks to David Edgar - Own work

There was a tree surrounded by tiers of radiating old gravestones.  This was named the “Hardy Tree” because in the 1860s, during the building of St Pancras Station, Thomas Hardy, as a young man, was in charge of excavating a section of the graveyard and moving a number of old gravestones. The tree has since died. 

The Burdett-Coutts Memorial Sundial is a high Victorian Gothic memorial funded by the benefactor Angela Burdett-Coutts. It was unveiled in 1879 as a memorial to people buried near the church, whose graves were disturbed during the building of St Pancras railway station.

The architect and collector Sir John Soane and his wife have a tomb here which he designed himself. It has been said that Soane’s tomb was the inspiration for Giles Gilbert Scott’s design for UK’s red telephone boxes. You can still view Sir John Soane's collection at Sir John Soane's Museum in Lincoln's Inn Fields. 

  • Continue back to and down Pancras Road, Shortly after passing Chenies Place on the right, on the left you will come to a tunnel under the railway lines which run into St Pancras International Railway Station. Walk through the tunnel until you emerge outside once more. Cross over Camley Street and walk on to the right hand side of Goods Way. 

  • Turn first right on to a footpath between the first two buildings. Carry on walking in this direction through Pancras Square. Pass the German Gymnasium on your right and a giant Bird Cage type structure on your left. The area with the bird cage is called Battle Bridge Place.
The German Gymnasium was constructed in 1864–65 for the German Gymnastics Society, a sporting association established in London in 1861 by Ernst Ravenstein. It was the first purpose-built gymnasium in England.
The name Battle Bridge comes from the fact that Roman remains were found here which suggest that it may have been the site of a crossing of the Fleet River. 

The word Battle in the name of the bridge comes from the fact that it is believed to be a place where the Iceni warrior Queen Boudica and her troops, and the Roman invaders fought each other, and where Boudica was killed. There is also a story that Boudica is buried under Platform nine at King’s Cross Station.

Originally called Broad Ford, following Boudica’s defeat, it was renamed Battle Bridge.

  • Continue on with Kings Cross Station on your left and St Pancras Station on your right.

  • Follow the curve of Kings Cross station, keeping it on your left, and then cross the front of the station, again keeping the building to your left. 

  • There are free toilets in this station.

The reason that the front of Kings Cross Station is at an angle to the Euston Road (which is in front of it) is because the Fleet used to flow here, at this angle, which then became the path of the Fleet Conduit beneath the ground here. 

  • When you have just passed Kings Cross station, cross over Euston Road on the crossing towards Grays Inn Road. There is a building with a lighthouse type structure on top of it on the left side of Grays Inn Road.
ABOVE: Grays Inn Road with the Lighthouse Building on the left.

The Lighthouse building has been put to a number of uses since it was built in the 19th century. Among them was “Netten’s Oyster Bar” which was on the ground floor. The building later it became a record shop. The building has recently been refurbished, and the Lighthouse’s latest incarnation is as a modern “Flexible Working Centre”.

  • Walk down Grays Inn Road as it curves to the right. After about 100 metres you pass a road on the left called Kings Cross Bridge. On the building at the corner of Kings Cross Bridge and Grays Inn Road is an old road name sign.

The road commemorates the fact there was once a bridge over the River Fleet here, exact dates not known. The River Fleet once ran along here here, and the Fleet sewer still does.  

  • Continue down Gray In Road for about another 320 metres, and turn left into Frederick Street.

  • At the junction of Frederick Street and Kings Cross Road, turn right into Kings Cross Road. Walk down to 61 Kings Cross Road on the right. It has a plaque on the wall marking it as the site of Bagnigge House near the 'Pindar of Wakefield'.  
Bagnigge House, also called Bagnigge Wells House, was originally Nell Gwynne’s summer residence. In the mid 17th century, when Nell Gwynne (1650-1687) used the house, this was a rural area called Bagnigge Vale, and the River Fleet flowed nearby.

The Pindar of Wakefield was a public house in Gray's Inn Road, originally built in 1517. The name comes from ‘The Jolly Pindar of Wakefield’, a ballad about Robin Hood (a ‘Pindar’ was a man in charge of impounding stray animals). 

There was a pub called ‘The Pindar of Wakefield’ in Gray’s Inn Road until 1992, which was built in 1878. The building is now a live music venue called ‘The Water Rats Theatre Bar’. 

In the mid 1700’s two mineral springs were found in the garden of Bagnigge House, and the area became something of a health resort. 

  • Walk down Kings Cross Road for about 70 metres, then opposite to the Travel Lodge, turn right into Cubitt Street, then left into Pakenham Street.

  • Continue until Pakenham Street crosses Calthorpe Street and becomes Phoenix Place. 

  • Walk down Phoenix Place to where it crosses Mount Pleasant and then becomes Warner Street. 

The area around Mount Pleasant was originally open fields above the River Fleet. In the 1700’s, a cold spring found here was reputed to have great healing qualities. The area became known as ‘Cold Bath Fields’ and many bathers came to dip themselves in the water. 

In 1794, a prison that was opened here in Coldbath Fields. Holding 1,800 prisoners, it was the biggest British prison at that time. The prison was closed in 1877, and in the late 1880’s the Post Office used some of the old buildings as a parcel depot, and later as a sorting office.

From the 1500’s to the 1800’s part of the area around here was used to dump human waste and ashes. With the growing population in London, sewage in the many cess pits in the city needed to be emptied regularly, and the human waste taken somewhere. Enter the ‘Gong Farmers’, night workers who emptied out the cesspits into barrels. These were then taken on carts to various places around the city to be dumped. This area was one of those places, resulting in the sarcastic name for the area which stuck, ‘Mount Pleasant’.

ABOVE: "Mounts" were made of human and animal dung, ashes and other rubbish. They were not uncommon on the fringes of London. This is an image of Whitechapel Mount, in the early 1800's. Mount Pleasant would probably have been of a similar size.
  • Continue along Warner Street to where it turns left, and becomes Ray Street at The Coach Pub.

This area was once called Hockley-in-the-Hole. The name ‘Hockley’ comes from an Anglo Saxon word for a ‘Muddy Field’. In the 18th century it was a rough place where cutpurses and highwaymen were common. The pub here, now called The Coach, used to be called the Coach and Horses, and sat on the north bank of the Fleet.

Next to the pub was a Bear Garden, where fights would take place and the results gambled upon. Men would battle against each other with fists, cudgels or swords. Dogs, cocks, bulls and bears would be set against each other too.

In 1774 Hockley-in-the-Hole and Town’s End Lane were changed to Ray Street, which is thought to be a corruption of Rag Street, after the rag trade that developed here.

A lot of the ground around here was built up from it’s original shape, in order to level out the steep sided valley that it once was.

If you look down gratings in the road outside the pub, you may be able to see and hear the Fleet, which still run below the street.

  • At the end of Ray Street, cross over Farringdon Road, and go straight ahead away from Ray Street. 

  • Turn right into Farringdon Lane, and walk down a little way to number 16 (Well Court). Look into the window next to the blue plaque on the wall. 

The Clerks’ Well is where Clerkenwell, and also Clerkenwell Priory (the site of which is where the Museum of the Order of Saint John in Clerkenwell Road is now) got their names from. 

The earliest reference to Clerkenwell is from 1100, and in those days members of the clergy were called clerks. The plural of clerk was was clerken, hence Clerkenwell.

The Clerks’ Well was rediscovered in 1924 and is now in the cellar of a building called Wells Court (14 –16 Farringdon Lane). It can be viewed through a window at the front of the building to the right of the Clerk's Well blue plaque.

Heading in the same direction that you came down Farringdon Lane, turn right on to Vine Street Bridge and continue on back to Farringdon Road. 

  • Cross over Farringdon Road, then turn left to cross over Clerkenwell Road. 

  • Continue down Clerkenwell Road until you get to the Sir John Oldcastle pub, which is on the right, at the junction with Greville Street. Walk up Greville Street a short way to it’s junction with Saffron Hill.

In the road here are more grids where you may see / hear the Fleet running beneath.

  • Return to Farringdon Road, and turn right. Continue down Farringdon Road until you get to Holborn Viaduct.

Built between 1863 and 1869, the Holborn Viaduct spans the River Fleet valley.

Before the viaduct was built, there was a bridge spanning the river here. It was called the Oldbourne or Holbourne bridge. The name Holborn comes from the Anglo-Saxon word Holburna, meaning a “hollow (meaning deep) stream”, this is because the river was in a deep valley here. The river was called the River Holbourne at this point, and also further upstream. Further downstream, it became the River Fleet. The word Fleet comes from an Anglo-Saxon word “flÄ“ot”, which meant "an estuary, bay or inlet". This is because the Fleet was once a broad tidal basin where it met the Thames. 

  • After the viaduct, going south, Farringdon Road turns into Farringdon Street. The second turning on the left is called Newcastle Close. 


After the Great Fire of London in 1666, the river here was converted into a canal. It was built with wharves for unloading goods, particularly coal, brought down by sea from the north-east of England. Newcastle Close is named after this use of the Fleet, as is Old Seacoal Lane, the third turning off left, further down Farringdon Street.

  • On the left hand side of the road, you will come to 20, Farringdon Street, and just after it is a narrow lane. This is called Old Fleet Lane, but there is no visible street sign. After Old Fleet Lane on the left of Farringdon Street is the site of the Fleet Prison.

The Fleet Prison was a notorious London prison which was built in 1197. It was rebuilt several times, and was in use until 1844 and then demolished in 1846.

Fleet Prison was used as a place to hold those committed by the Star Chamber. After this, it was used as a debtor's prison and for those imprisoned for contempt of court by the Court of Chancery. 

In 1381, during the Peasants' Revolt, it was destroyed by Wat Tyler's men.

ABOVE: Tom Rakewell in a cell in the Fleet Prison. Engraving by T. Cook after W. Hogarth. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain. Source: Wellcome Collection. https://wellcomecollection.org/works/jbftzgsp

During the 1400’s, inmates were usually imprisoned here for civil rather than criminal cases, and the prison was considered to be more comfortable than others near it. Prison inmates had to pay for their board and lodgings, provide tips for prison servants, and pay a fee when they entered or left the prison. Some cells ranged from luxurious private rooms to rooms where inmates slept two in a bed. The very poorest inmates had to beg passers by through a grating, while they were incarcerated in the Fleet Prison.

  • You will get to a crossroads, with Fleet Street on your right, with Ludgate Hill on your left. 

This is the site of the Fleet Bridge, crossing the river from Fleet Street (also known as Fleet Bridge Street for a time) to Ludgate Hill (referred to as Fleet Hill on the Agas map). The bridge was first referenced in 1197 and was rebuilt a number of times. 

ABOVE: Entrance to the Fleet River as it emerges into the Thames by Samuel Scott, c. 1750 - PUBLIC DOMAIN

NOTE: Because the Thames used to be wider, the Fleet Bridge in the image is aligned to where Fleet Street now meets Farringdon Street.
On the left of the picture is the tower of St Brides Church.

  • After Farringdon Street crosses Fleet St and Ludgate Hill, it becomes New Bridge Street.

New Bridge Street was built in 1764. It was named in 1765, and got it’s name because it led to the then new Blackfriars Bridge. 

It covers the last section of the River Fleet, which was called the Fleet Ditch at this point. 

The Fleet Ditch in 1844
Public Domain

The Fleet Ditch was a canalisation of the naturally occurring Fleet River. It ended at the Blackfriars Bridge, newly erected in the 1760’s, and replaced with the current bridge in the 1860’s.

  • As you walk down New Bridge Steet, look on the right hand side for 14 New Bridge Street. 

14 New Bridge Street was erected in 1802, this building was originally the gatehouse to Bridewell Royal Hospital, founded in 1553. It also marks the place on which stood the Palace of Bridewell, built by Henry VIII in 1523. 

In 1553, Edward VI gave the palace over to the City of London for the housing of homeless children and for the punishment of "disorderly women". By 1556 part of the palace had become a jail, and was then known as Bridewell Prison. 

The prison was closed in 1855 and the buildings demolished in 1863–1864.

  • Continue walking down New Bridge Street until you get to the Blackfriar pub on the left.

This pub is so named because in the area to the north-east behind it was a Dominican friary founded in the year 1278 with the approval and patronage of Edward I. The name Blackfriars comes from the colour of the robes that the Dominicans Friars wore.

During the Reformation when Henry VIII took a lot of church properties, the Blackfriars Friary was sold off as housing. 

Two of the large halls in the friary became theatres. Child actors associated with the Queen's Chapel Choir performed in one from 1576 to 1584. The other theatre was purchased by James Burbage in 1596. First used by the Children of the Chapel (boys with unbroken voices, who formed part of the Chapel Royal choir) in 1600, and then used by the King's Men, the acting group that William Shakespeare was part of, who took over in 1608. 

The King’s Men used the Blackfriars Theatre as their winter playhouse. It was closed in 1642 when the English Civil War began.

In 1666, the entire Blackfriars area was destroyed in the Great Fire of London.

When you are level with the Blackfriar pub, look across at the other side of New Bridge Street. This is Watergate Street, which marks where the Thames came to before the building of the Thames Embankment in 1870.

Above: Watergate Street, across the road from the Blackfriar pub.

  • Walk on to Blackfriars Bridge.

The first bridge over the Thames at Blackfriars was of an Italianate design. It was originally a toll bridge, and opened in 1769. It was named "William Pitt Bridge", after the Prime Minister. Because of where it was, it gradually became known as Blackfriars Bridge. 

This was the bridge that gave New Bridge Street its name when it was built to replace the old wharves that were here previously and replaced the Fleet Ditch.

The first bridge had to be replaced because of faults it developed. The present bridge was built in the mid 19th century, and then was opened by Queen Victoria on 6 November 1869. 

  • It is at Blackfriars Bridge that the underground River Fleet runs into the Thames. Because of the new ‘Tideway’ development of the River Bank here, it is now not possible to view the exit of the Fleet at present (April 2024). This may change in the future. 

ABOVE - Where the Fleet emerges into the Thames, under Blackfriars Bridge - how it appeared before the Tideway Development. PUBLIC DOMAIN - Mark S. Jobling (Mjobling at en.wikipedia) - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Common Good using CommonsHelper

A YouTube Video showing what the Fleet looks like under Farringdon Street.

The Tideway development is upgrading London’s sewer system to cope with the growing population.

So far, six tunnel boring machines have been used to create a new sewer tunnel, which is now finished. 

This 25km tunnel will be used to intercept, store and transfer sewage waste away from the River Thames.

Hyperlink to information on the new Tideway development at Blackfriars Bridge

Video about the Tideway Project


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