Tracing the Fleet: A River Walk

The small sculptures like the one pictured here are traces of a walk from the source of the River Fleet in Hampstead to its outfall into the Thames near Blackfriars. The walk route follows as closely as possible the route of the mostly buried River Fleet. The sculptures mark intervals along the route of the walk and are gifts for others to find and enjoy.

Each sculpture comprises a sealed glass bottle containing water taken from the River Fleet near its source, bound to a piece of driftwood found on the Thames shore. In leaving the sculptures in the street for others to see, the buried River Fleet is returned to the surface.

The Fleet has shaped the landscape of London, but is now mostly invisible. Rising in Hampstead, it flows south to the Thames via Gospel Oak, Kentish Town, Kings Cross, Clerkenwell and Holborn. It reaches the Thames near Blackfriars.

The river can still be seen on Hampstead Heath as streams and ponds. It rises in two separate places; in the grounds of Kenwood and further west near Hampstead Village. The two branches join underground near Kentish Town. The walk followed the western branch of the river.

For more of the works associated with walking the Fleet, see Walking the Fleet.

If you’d like to know more about this project, please contact me.

River Fleet Offering I