Walbrook Dock


Above: Walbrook Dock seen from Bankside, on the Southwark side of the Thames. The empty barges are seen waiting for the rubbish containers to be loaded onto them. The high brick wall of Cannon Street Station is to be seen on the far right.

“Upper Thames Street – Part 12”

The River Walbrook flowed through the roman settlement of Londinium. It was probably an open stream until some time after the Battle of Hastings (1066). By the time of the Agas map (c1561) no trace of the stream is shown inside the Roman Wall because by that time it had been covered over and was flowing below ground. There are early records of the mouth of the Walbrook being navigable by small vessels as far up as today’s site of Mansion House. Gradually the stream silted up and was eventually covered over.

Its course was a short distance west of the City street called ‘Walbrook’ and it entered the Thames to the west of Dowgate Hill. In Roman times the mouth would have been almost level with the line of Upper Thames Street. As more land was extended south into the Thames, the mouth of the Walbrook would have gradually been further and further south. No trace of the stream entering the Thames is visible today. Only the name of Walbrook Dock is a reminder of where it must have once entered the Thames.

Walbrook Dock is now not a dock but a piece of land on which large containers are stored, filled with compressed rubbish from the City of London. The containers are then picked up by a large travelling crane and loaded onto large lighters before being towed down-river to be incinerated.

Note: There is also a WordPress article showing Cousin Lane Stairs in the 1920s. It relates directly to this article about Walbrook Dock.


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