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Bond Street and Tyburn

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Archaeological excavations in advance of the expansion of Bond Street station uncovered evidence for the now buried Tyburn river. One of its channels was found.

The Tyburn ran through this area for thousands of years. It is likely that the rich resources associated with this watercourse would have encouraged prehistoric peoples to settle and forage along its banks. Over the course of centuries, remained a rural area traversed with a Roman road towards Silchester.

However, the area did not maintain its peaceful nature. By the 14th century the area had become a dangerous and violent place. A gallows was set up at Tyburn in 1388, which attracted large, often rowdy, crowds to view public execution.

In the 18th and 19th century this area became urbanised rapidly and was soon swallowed up by London. The Tyburn was made into a covered sewer in the 18th century and no longer flowed above ground. South Molton Lane now follows the course of the ancient river.

The remains of 18th-century building foundations indicate a damp or even water-logged ground surface. This reflects what is already known about the history of this area. Building expansion in the 18th century led to increased management of the Tyburn and its channels. Eventually in 1926 the river was diverted via a series of buried conduits.

Oxford Archaeology archaeologists excavate one of the Tyburn's channels_8902
Wooden water pump found during the excavations at Bond Street_9001