|'The Moat' - could one of London's Lost Rivers be attempting to fill it up?|
Geologists, employed to investigate the water, suggest that a spring up to a mile away has been diverted by building work however, this does not account for the fact that the water has been present to a greater or lesser extent since the buildings construction. I speculate that this water may originate from one of the lost rivers of London, possibly the Fleet. John agrees that there may be some truth in this citing that recent excavations of North Block Green unearthed an old conduit.
Next, we descended below ground into ‘The Moat’ itself.
This tunnel runs all the way from the British Museum to Torrington Square, but is mostly inaccessible due to the current building works at the university. As we travelled further along the tunnel the sound of running water grew louder until finally we descended another ladder into a deeper tunnel from where the sound was emanating. An extraordinary and haunting sight met my eyes - for here, beneath Senate House, was a large pool of water.
Water is flowing through a fissure in the wall and collecting on the floor. The duck boards dotted along the tunnel serve as stepping stones and were placed there when the building was first constructed showing that the water was always present. A channel two inches by two inches has been carved into the stone floor to allow the water to flow into a sump pumping the water up to The Moat above.
|What lies beneath Senate House|
Please note: These tunnels are not open for public access. Access was granted under special circumstances and the correct safety procedures were adhered to.