Dave Sergeant

The Tyburn is sourced near Hampstead and flows buried down to the Thames at Vauxhall. I had previously walked the lower section from Baker Street and this walk completed it with the upper section from Hampstead down to Baker Street. I followed the guidlines in David Fathers' London's Hidden Rivers.

The source of the Tyburn is marked by a plaque to the former Shepherd's Well a little south of the centre of Hampstead and by appropriately named Spring Path. A separate tributary arises on Haverstock Hill and the two merge in Swiss Cottage.

The route follows the rough route of the buried river through suburban streets towards Swiss Cottage which has some very nice houses. A prominent statue of Sigmund Freud is passed, he lived near here until his death. Nearby is Palmer's Fountain remembering Samuel Palmer, one of the founders of Huntley and Palmers. His London residence Palmers Lodge is opposite. The fountain has become the base for Harry's Flowers who seemed looking for customers.

After Swiss Cottage the river reaches the Regent's canal. Unlike the Fleet which goes under the canal, the Tyburn crosses it in a carefully hidden aquaduct built within the structure of Chalbert footbridge with a couple of inspection covers on the footway being the only clue.

So into Regent's Park which was very pleasant on a quite spring like day. The boating pond was originally formed by damming the river but when that became a sewer it was separately routed. It was the scene of a disaster in 1867 when its ice gave way and forty skaters were drowned.

Out of the Park and into Baker Street where I had started last time. On the circle line platforms the Tyburn passes through in an aquaduct, it seems I must have been looking in the wrong place though as I never found it. I then went deeper into the station and caught the Jubilee line to London Bridge where I had a pleasant lunch at the Old Thameside Inn before heading home.

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