Rivers of London

Rivers of London

1 Comment on Rivers of London

I’ve just been reading a book by Ben Aaronvitch, titled Rivers of London. I’d really recommend this as a fun read to all London Guides and anyone interested in London History – first of three books so far, and introduces a new hero in the form of Peter Grant, a probationary police constable who is assigned to the specialist unit of the Metropolitian Police which deals in magical crimes. Absolute hoot – and nearly all the lost and hidden Rivers of London make an appearance in it. Clearly Ben is a lover of history – he manages to mix some really wonderful real history with a very imaginative set of mythological delights and horrors … I’ve already acquired the second book in the series and looking forward to reading it.

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  • debbie

    Thanks for the tip it sounds a delightful read and I look forward to reading it myself. I have got a more factual book called Londons Lost Rivers by Paul Talling and for me it is the best book on this subject that I have found so far. For each river it plots the rivers route – albeit underground these days – alongside todays major roads and train stations as plain lines so it can be followed on an A-Z – and it provides current day landmarks to identify the underground routes, like the Drovers Arms mural next to the river Peck on the Old Kent Road and the outlets for the Tyburn on the north and the Effra on the south bank that can be seen when the Thames is at low tide. I was suprised to find the Walbrook ran east to west outside Moorgate – no wonder the ground was as soggy as a moor, giving the area its name. And the picture of the Westbourrne in a pipe above our heads in Sloane Square station – who’d have thought that was a diverted river? The book cites all possible sources where the source is questionable. I enjoyed piecing together bits of water I have noticed on my travels into a recognisible rivers route. So though there is not much water to see these days the footprints of the waterways are visible when you look closely. Best of all it is handbag sized!

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