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Where London is situated today was once the floodplains of the river Thames, surrounded by gently rolling hills and valleys carved by the river itself and its innumerable tributaries. London originally began on the Thames' north bank and for many centuries London Bridge was the only bridge over the Thames close to the city. But as the city grew, the marshlands and streams feeding the Thames began to get in the way of growth and were gradually buried under streets and houses.

“Today, in many parts of the city you could be standing within inches of one of its lost rivers and not even realise it,” wrote Andy Dangerfield on BBC.


A plaque in Gipsy Road, West Norwood, reads: “The Hidden River Effra is Beneath Your Feet”. Photo credit: diamond geezer/Flickr

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