Thames Street, London

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Thames Street, divided into Lower and Upper Thames Street, is a road in the City of London, the historic and financial centre of London.[1] It forms part of the busy A3211 route (prior to being rebuilt as a major thoroughfare in the late 1960s, it was the B132) from Tower Hill to Westminster. The London Bridge underpass marks the divide between Upper and Lower Thames Street, with Lower to the east and Upper to the west.

History[edit]

Looking east down Thames Street, at the London Bridge underpass, in c. 1965 (left) and in 2013 (right). The street has clearly become a major thoroughfare in today's City of London.

Thames Street is mentioned in the diary of Samuel Pepys. The first mention of the road, however, is from 1013 when the Custom-house was founded on the street.[2][3] During the reign of King Henry VIII, the street contained the London residences of many courtiers, including that of William Compton, where Henry VIII allegedly met his mistresses.[4]

At 101 Lower Thames Street, remains of a Roman bath were excavated. They are preserved in the cellar of the modern building on the site.

Little evidence of the street's history remains, in a large part due to the Blitz and post-War redevelopment, and it now contains many office buildings, including the headquarters of the Daily Express newspaper. The London Fire Brigade's fire investigation unit is based at Dowgate fire station on Upper Thames Street at the corner of Allhallows Lane; the station is the only one within the City of London. The most notable change is on the western end of the thoroughfare, which dramatically altered its course as part of major works of the 1960s, involving the reclaiming of foreshore of the Thames at Puddle Dock.

Lower Thames Street formed part of the marathon course of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The women's Olympic marathon took place on 5 August and the men's on 12 August. The Paralympic marathons were held on 9 September.[5][6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 'Lower Thames Street', Old and New London: Volume 2 (1878), pp. 41-60. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=45074
  2. ^ The parliamentary gazetteer of England and Wales
  3. ^ history "lower thames street" - Google Search
  4. ^ Hart, Kelly (1 June 2009). The Mistresses of Henry VIII (First ed.). The History Press. ISBN 0-7524-4835-8. 
  5. ^ http://www.london2012.com/athletics/event/men-marathon/coursemap/
  6. ^ http://www.london2012.com/athletics/event/women-marathon/coursemap/

Further reading[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′35″N 0°5′15″W / 51.50972°N 0.08750°W / 51.50972; -0.08750