New River

This is one of a series of posts exploring some of the more obscure parts of London and their past. Some of the photographs will appear in my 2022 calendar which will shortly be on sale. Click here for more information and check back to see when the calendar is available.


The New River is not technically a river as it is manmade and neither is it new as it was built back in the early seventeenth century.

Whatever you wish to call it, it runs from somewhere near Hertford to Islington. In Hertfordshire the river above ground, meandering as it follows the contours to stay level. Once it reaches London some of it begins to disappear underground but there are still sections you can view and walk along including these parts between Woodberry Down and Finsbury Park.

The River was opened in 1613 and designed by Sir Hugh Myddleton – you can see his statue at Islington Green and there are a number of roads along the route of the river that bear his name.

I love exploring these areas as they are a ribbon of tranquility behind buildings and beneath busy roads. They are also home to many others including swans and herons.

It is possible to walk almost the entire route of the New River – something else I should do at some point, so watch out for more photographs later!

Published by Stephen Taylor

Freelance e-learning developer and instructional designer, photographer and cyclist

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