Digging London’s sewer system

#Picture Number ST235

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Victorian illustration to download showing the start of the construction of London’s sewer system in 1859. Navvies dig a large trench and remove the excavated earth to spoil heaps using wheelbarrows. This scene was sketched in Victoria Park, E London. Raw sewage used to flow directly into the River Thames. The engineer Joseph Bazalgette (1819-91) had designed a sewage system for London in the 1850s, and the ‘Great Stink’ of 1858 spurred on its construction.