/ The London Traveler
London — By Andrea Kirkby on April 6, 2010 at 6:43 am
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A lost London river

I’m fascinated by subterranean London. The sewers, the tunnels, the disused stations – and the rivers.

So is Diamond Geezer, who has traced the path of Counter’s Creek, a river running from Kensal Green, through Kensington, down to the Thames at Chelsea.

Kensal Green cemetery - and a gasworks; you're never far from industry in London!

It has an intriguing history, because before Counter’s Creek was buried there was an attempt to make it into a canal. That wasn’t profitable. Well, maybe modern technology could do something about that, so the canal was filled in and a railway built along the top. It’s still running – trains from Shepherd’s Bush to Imperial Wharf still use it.

There are some interesting sites along the route. There’s Kensal Green Cemetery [map], Brompton Cemetery [map], the stucco terraces of genteel Holland Park, and Chelsea Football Club.

The creek even makes its presence known occasionally – Holland Park houseowners still get their basements flooded from time to time by the sewer that took Counter’s Creek underground.

But along the walk, there’s no sign at all of the river until you get to Chelsea Creek – just a little inlet off the Thames, guarded by the flank of Lots Road Power Station. That’s quite sad, in a way; even sadder is the fact that the last lock-keeper’s cottage on the little failed canal was demolished to make way for a supermarket.

Read Diamond Geezer’s excellent blog to find out more. I always like to follow his explorations – and you never know quite what he’s going to find. (I suspect he doesn’t know, either, till he finds it, which is why his reports are such fun.)

photo by Loz Flowers on flickr

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