December 10 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, September 12, 2013
You would never know it walking through Club Row by Arnold Circus, behind Shoreditch Church—but that’s where a long-forgotten river still flows today down to the Thames.
You can’t see it because it’s been built over down the centuries.
But there’s a chance to follow its path with a series of walks next month from Arnold Circus along Shoreditch High Street into Holywell Street and down through the City, past Mansion House — that’s where the Walbrook pours into the Thames without so much as once catching a glimpse of daylight on its three-mile meandering.
The walks are a part historical, part cultural research project, an exercise in environmental observation which you can join at £10 a head.
The guide for The Walbrook Pilgrimage is poet and writer Tom Chivers who is organising it to coincide with National Poetry Day, this year’s theme being ‘water’.
On the way, you explore the hidden histories of back alleys and grand avenues, passing holy wells where Hollywell Street gets its tag and the remains of Shakespeare’s Curtain Playhouse which were uncovered four years ago behind appropriately-named Curtain Road, off Great Eastern Street.
The mystical river has strange mounds along the way and the Roman cemetery behind Bishopsgate, as well as architectural oddities and even buried temples.
Each walk takes an hour-and-a-half and is narrated on headphones with Tom Chivers’ live action along the way. Groups are restricted to 10—so turn up to the Bandstand at Arnold Circus on time, or weep.
The first is mid-week, Wednesday, October 2, at 4.15pm, with the rest on the following four days including Saturday and Sunday. They are October 3, National Poets’ Day, 5.15pm, October 4 at 6pm, October 5 (Sat) at 6.45pm and October 6 (Sun) at 7.30pm. Tickets £10 online: Wegottickets.com.