Farringdon Street, EC1A

The building of Farringdon Street is considered one of the greatest urban engineering achievements of the 19th century.

It was one of the first engineered multi-lane roads, and also buried the River Fleet in a system of underground tunnels, solving one of London’s most daunting sanitary problems. Its construction also included the building of the world’s first stretch of underground railway, a branch of the Metropolitan Railway that later became part of the London Underground running beneath Farringdon Road from King’s Cross St. Pancras into the City at Farringdon.

The construction of Farringdon Street necessitated the removal of the Fleet Market that had been built in 1736 above the course of the River Fleet, which is now London’s largest subterranean river. North of the market was Hockley-in-the-Hole (around Ray Street Bridge), an area notorious for bear-baiting and similar activities.

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