I just finished a fascinating, and short, history of what lies beneath the city of London, called London Under by Peter Ackroyd. I thought I had a pretty good idea of what lurked beneath London being a fan of English history, but I was surprised at how much more there is to the story. It is more than old Victorian brick lined sewers and forgotten tube lines. Hidden below the city lies Saxon coffins, mammoth bones, plague pits, sacred springs, relics, buried roads, and even a Roman galley.
Want a taste of the interesting tidbits you will find in this book? Read on.
In 1865 a gang of workmen, digging beneath the surface of Oxford Street, found a curious trap-door. They opened it and were astonished to find a flight of sixteen brick steps. They followed them and "entered a room of considerable size." The walls were built of red brick, with eight arches originally designed to let in the light. In the middle of the chamber was a pool or bath, about 6 feet in depth. It was half-full of water, and a spring could still be seen bubbling up. It was in all probability a Roman bapistery in which the water still flowed from a tributary of the Tyburn.