City of Water, Wells and Springs

Angel Tube

Guided by Gavin

Walk Times

Day Walk Type Start Time End Time
18 December 2021 Tour du Jour 10.45 am 12.45 pm Winter

Short Read: An undiscovered and fascinating part of Central London

Long Read: London’s population exploded in Tudor times: from around 120,000 in the mid 16th century to 250,000 in 17th century. Hygiene was a major problem, in a seriously over-crowded city with no system for dealing with sewage.

Londoners only had access to water from wells, water sellers or from the filthy River Thames, via a large waterwheel at London Bridge. Although Acts of Parliament had been passed to improve the situation, it was a challenge issued by King James I that finally brought about a radical solution to London’s water shortage.

And so the area known locally as Amwell (North Clerkenwell) was developed. First to provide the over-crowded city with water and then to develop housing for the growing upper middle-class looking to escape the confines of the polluted city.

This new tour takes us from what would have been, in the 16th century, the countryside, into the city itself. We pass wells and springs and see evidence of where a man-made river was created in 1613. On the way we discover the lives of the landowners, How Sadler’s Wells Theatre got its name and what was known as Aquatic Theatre. We pass where Jospeh Grimaldi lived, who some people believe to be the first modern day clown and where the first Asian MP Dadabhai Naoroji worked. We also pass the areas where monks and nuns lived their lives of religious solitude up until, in some cases, the 1960’s! As well as seeing what remains today of the Welsh immigrants who for centuries drove their cattle through this part of London. 

To top it off, throughout the tour we see some of the most interesting and contrasting architecture anywhere in London.

The walk  will end near Barbican station.


There are no reviews yet.

Add A Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *