Walking from Victoria Station yesterday in front of the Victoria Palace Theatre, where Billy Elliot is still playing, I noticed this trench being dug as part of the gargantuan redevelopment of the station. If you look beneath the thick black pipe you can see what looks like the top of a thick brick archway. This is almost certainly part of the sewer along which flows the old – and nowadays completely hidden -Tyburn river, which bifurcates to form Thorney Island on which Westminster Abbey is built.
Part of the Tyburn river – now just a stream – was temporarily uncovered earlier in the year as I reported here. This section of the Tyburn flows from Hampstead through Regents Park under Buckingham Palace passing the Victoria Palace and under King’s Scholars’ Passage before following the line of Tachbrook Street and emptying itself into the Thames. Yet another part of the sewer was temporarily revealed during separate roadworks in March 2012 where Francis Street meets Vauxhall Bridge Road. It can be seen that the pattern of brickwork is virtually the same. I wonder how many other glimpses of London’s hidden rivers have been discovered during construction work.