IMG 9703 - Buckingham Palace's Goring bridge

This picture of Buckingham Palace was taken from Green Park during a brief afternoon interlude in Storm Katie which raged through the UK at Easter 2016. The puddle of water belies the fact it could well have been the River Tyburn circa 1620 as it flowed southwards from Piccadilly towards the Thames.

Buckingham Palace is one of London’s tourist hotspots. Millions descend on the area annually to visit the palace. Yet 400 years ago the area was still mainly open land! Just a few country houses existed and St James’s Park had only just begun to be shaped into that which we recognise today.

Roughly about this location (or perhaps slightly more west) a path once wound its way down from the real Constitution Hill and here once stood a bridge over the Tyburn. This was known as Goring Bridge.

IMG 9251 - Buckingham Palace's Goring bridge
The Arlington House section of Buckingham Palace

How did this get it’s name? The short-lived Mulberry Gardens was established by King James I in 1609. Goring House was built on part of the Gardens’ acreage in 1624, and whence the bridge’s name originated. The property burnt down in 1674. Arlington House rose on it’s site. This still exists and is the much older & darker stone southern wing of Buckingham Palace as seen above.

What happened to Goring bridge? Long before it’s house burnt down, the bridge was demolished and it’s river driven underground to enable further gentrification of the area including extended parkland. Arlington House was clearly built over part of the underground course of the river.

Nowadays the river flows in a different direction around the palace and its of course known as the King’s Scholar’s Pond Sewer.

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