At Your Convenience: A Lavatorial Walking Tour
Victoria Embankment Gardens
Turn Right into the garden gate and walk straight on.
See that stone arch on the far side of the garden? That’s where we’re headed.
This garden that you’re walking through was once part of the River Thames. After the Great Stink in 1858 the Metropolitan Board of Works was faced with a choice: dig up the expensive houses along the strand or else reclaim some land from the river.
The second option had the additional advantage of causing the river to flow faster, helping to carry away the refuse that was already there. In fact, many architects had been saying since the 1600’s that the embankments should be built.
The new land also provided space for the lovely garden that you’re standing in now, which has, from its first moment been here to stand on top of sewage. Ever wondered why the grass is so green? Well that’s not actually why. But that doesn’t change the fact that you are currently on top of 8 million people’s waste!