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Somewhat Too Detailed Trivia
on April 20, 2012
"London Under," by Peter Ackroyd, is a compendium of trivia about what lies underneath the ground of London, England. Items ranging from Bronze Age relics to Roman tiles to Anglo-Saxon graves are to be found, as are the choked remains of numerous springs, wells and rivers. Early stations of the Underground can be found, as can Victorian sewer systems and, of course, any number of tunnels for the housing of gas and water pipes, electric and telephone wires, and so on. It's interesting because the city is so old and the land thereabouts has been occupied by humans for so long, but the details are likely only to be of interest to Londoners or others who are intimately familiar with the city; to someone who's only visited there a few times, like me, the information concerning the exact location of certain items is meaningless because I have no idea where those locations are. Still, there's a certain fascination in the realization that the many streets, alleys and roads in London that have "spring" or "well" in their names are, in fact, marking an area where once a spring or well existed.