Above: An old 1920s photo shows members of the public standing on the steps, watching the photographer with his cumbersome camera, probably mounted on a sturdy tripod, taking a picture of the stairs. It should be remembered he was standing on the shore.
On the west side of Cannon Street Station is a narrow street called Cousin Lane. It is the southern continuation of the street called Walbrook. Many people believe that the River Walbrook flowed on the line of these two streets. That is not quite true because the old course of the stream was about 100 yards further west.
At the southern end of Cousin Lane is one of the very few remaining water-stairs which, in olden times, allowed free access to the shore. When the river was high enough, people boarded wherries to be rowed by a waterman across the river from stairs such as these.
The four huge timber posts – two embedded into the hard surface of the Thames on each side of the stairs – are seldom seen these days. They were to prevent vessels like barges, that were moored in the Thames, from crashing into the stairs and damaging the woodwork.
These are one of the very few water stairs that remain today along the shoreline of the City of London. The view is not quite like the one above but very little has changed in what is now almost 100 years!