Historic engraved Blackfriars stone lost

Possibly unknowing to Tideway and most people, a piece of London and Thames history has been lost in part of the construction of the Tideway Tunnel works.         The engraved stone at Blackfriars was embedded into the Victoria Embankment when the embankment was opened in 1869 and reads :

“Metropolitan Board of Works  – This stone was bedded by Sir John Thwaites  – 15th April 1869”  and also lists head constructors and engineers



Construction of the Embankment 1869 – photo by Henry Flather

The stone itself could only been seen at low tides and often hidden from view by the tide which is most likely why most people within London may never have noticed this little gem.


DCO Blackfriars Bridge Foreshore above ground 1024x724

photo : Tideway

The piece of Embankment that the stone featured in is now part of a cofferdam site (seen above) as part of the Tideway Tunnel works and the stone itself has been filled over with concrete and hidden from view forever.   This is disappointing to discover and I personally feel the stone should have been removed from the wall and mounted elsewhere on the wall in public view prior to the works taking place.

I hope that something can be done to remedy this piece of history being lost and perhaps a replacement stone created with the original engraved wording be built into the wall of the new section of embankment/ site once it is complete


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