Old Kent Road’s lost river revealed

The importance of the Thomas A Becket pub in Old Kent Road is highlighted in a new book.

The historic pub closed suddenly last April leaving its future uncertain.

London’s Hidden Rivers by David Fathers shows the line of the stream which runs up against the pub’s wall in Albany Road before flowing across the main road into Humphrey Street.

It was this water which caused pilgrims to stop here.

The spot, known as St Thomas A Watering, was a place for the horses to drink.

It was the last stop out of London and the first into the capital. Here the Lord Mayor of London came to welcome visitors from abroad.

David Fathers’ books are always a delight for their thorough research and drawings.

He reminds us that another stream, the River Neckinger, crossed Tabard Street at its junction with Prioress Street.

Tabard Street is the line of the original  Kent road to Bricklayers Arms so pilgrims from Southwark would have crossed this water before encountering the second stream at St Thomas A Watering.

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