Thursday, 22 November 2012

Lower Robert St - WC2

If you haven't stumbled across the rather excellent blog "View From the Mirror" - written by a London black cabbie - then head there right now and book-mark it.  It's an absolute winner and a fount of knowledge about London.  I have been alerted to many London gems by this blog and Lower Robert St is one of them (you can read the entry on View From the Mirror here).  The remnants of a grand late 18th century housing development on the banks of the Thames, near what is now the Victoria Embankment, Lower Robert St is a slightly spooky, tunnel of a street that seems to only be known to cabbies and canny central London drivers who use it as a quick route to the river.  Before the Embankment was reclaimed, the Thames was wider and had a more natural river bank and the Adelphi was a riverside development of 24 snazzy houses.  To ensure it was level with the Strand side of the building, the river side of the development had a series of vaulted arches underneath it.  Once the river was narrowed and the Victoria Embankment Gardens and road were built between the Adelphi and the Thames (in the mid to late 1800's) the tunnels became an area of disrepute and vice - not surprising really when you have a dark, hidden tunnel-like streets in central London
 in Victorian times.  Eventually the Adelphi was demolished and Lower Robert St is pretty much the only remnant of the vaults.  Even in the middle of the day it has a spooky vibe and there is supposedly a resident ghost, of a prostitute murdered by one of her customers.  Whilst I didn't hear "Poor Jenny" when I paid a visit, it did feel a little weird wandering through - I was completely alone, metres from the busy Victoria Embankmenet and The Strand - and whilst I am not admitting to being a wuss, I will admit that after being in Lower Robert Street for a few minutes I did find myself hurrying out to John Adam St.  So if you fancy a slightly spooky expedition on your lunch hour, or indeed if you are a braver soul, an evening wander, go and check out this fascinating remnant of Georgian London in WC2.

2 comments:

  1. Spooky! I will definitely go and have a look see :)

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  2. It is quite a weird feeling walking through there!

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