The City’s Best Kept Secret…

• Article by BRUIN Financial

The City’s Best Kept Secret…

BRUIN has recently moved office and we thought we’d give our meeting rooms a bit of  a face lift with some new names. The result is a little bit of history, a dash of trivia and a mini metaphor all in one – explanation below!

Our Meeting Room Names Explained

Our clients often remark that BRUIN is one of the City’s ‘best kept secrets’. Another of the City’s best kept secrets are the rivers that flow beneath the streets of London. Like us, these conduits form a network which are: “invisible threads, binding London together under the surface while the city roars above…They are a hidden system for cutting through the layers on which London stands.”*

The River Fleet rises to either side of Parliament Hill, with one branch tumbling down from Highgate and the other from Hampstead. The Fleet gives its name to the City’s famous Fleet Street and is steeped in history. Once a sacred healing river and the conduit that carried the stones for Old St. Paul’s Cathedral, its banks are also rumoured to be where Queen Boudicca’s army fought a legendary battle against the Romans.

The City of London emerged along the line of this shallow river valley, rolling down to the Thames from its wellspring outside Shoreditch Church. The River Walbrook flows directly under the City of London and gave its name to a City ward which contains two of the City’s most notable landmarks: the Bank of England and Mansion House. In fact, the River Walbrook is probably the most direct route into the Bank of England, running through a tunnel under its vaults.

From its origins in South Hampstead, the Tyburn flows alongside many of London’s most prominent landmarks. As well as running directly beneath Buckingham palace, it once branched to form the island of Thorney – the site of Westminster Abbey – and originally fed the lakes in Regent’s Park. From the place where the Tyburn crossed Oxford Street, the Great Conduit was built in 1236 to supply water through conduits made of elm trunks from the Tyburn to Cheapside in the City.

The River Westbourne flows approximately southward from Whitestone Pond in North London to skirt east of Hyde Park’s Serpentine lake to Sloane Square. Conduits were laid in the mid 1400s to channel the waters from the Westbourne into the City of London for drinking. The most obvious (and famous) evidence of the river comes at Sloane Square Tube station, where to this day a steel pipe carries the waters over the tracks.

*The Telegraph: Tom Bolton, 11 Apr 2012. London’s lost rivers: the hidden history of The City’s buried waterways.