London, home to the famous "Lost Rivers", but one such river you may not have heard about is the River Moselle. Technically the Moselle is not a "Lost River", as small sections still run aboveground, through parks and cemeteries.
The Moselle flows through Tottenham towards the lea valley, where it once posed a serious flood risk to the local villagers. This continued up until 1836 when a section around Tottenham High Road was covered over. Further culverting of the river continued up until 1906. Even with a large portion of the river now underground, it continued to annually fill and flood the town. This continued until the 1960's, when during a large redevelopment of the town the old culvert was replaced and rebuilt.
Well that's the bad news. The redevelopment meant there was a high chance all of the old sexy brick, would now be concrete. Nevertheless we set off through london in the brisk hours of the morning. We arrived at a nearby park, and after some failed attempts at climbing a fence, when the gate was open, we were in.
Did someone say Wandle?. A three way junction of cold, heartless concrete boxes lay before us. The ceiling laden with moisture and a crackhead posse of spiders. Since they would clearly shank us if we got too close, we kept clear and headed down the largest pipe. I remember why i turned back last time, the tunnel just kept going, and going, and going. Eventually it split in two, with small "windows" in between. Ha kind of interesting i guess. This continued for twenty minutes before splitting into a further two pipes. Hmm choices choices. Again we opted for the largest tunnel, and after a further ten minutes we came across a sight that almost made me cry. Yellow, Black and Red brick all in one.
The tunnel was presumably part of the original construction, but due to its size now acted as a overflow tunnel. A broken barrier allowing a small amounts of water to flow into it. We took a few pictures and once again opted for the larger tunnel, sadly the concrete one. The waters direction flowed around a few bends and down into a 10ft+ RCP. It continued like this for 600 meters before rejoining the brick tunnel in a large chamber.
Well this was as good as it was going to get. A snake like brick tunnel flowed in from the left, carrying with it the flow from the now disused side sewers. The RCP we just walked down flowing in from the right. Both pipes draining down a small ramp and onwards towards Pymmes Brook.
The only other notable feature was a secondary brick outfall to the brook but as this was only 2-3ft high we didn't bother. As far as culverted rivers go this wasn't amazing, and slightly boring at times. But you never know unless you muck in and go look for yourself.