The Rivers of London


This is a new work by Stephen Walter, in his characteristic hand-annotated, monochromatic style. It features London’s watery features, in particular the many waterways. The iconic River Thames (which should always appear on any good London map) is the natural centrepiece, but London has numerous more minor rivers, streams, channels and culverts which form the base of this work. The choice of water is a particularly good one – London’s waterways are scattered throughout the capital, rather than intensifying in the centre as tube lines and houses (the focus of some of the artist’s previous works) do. This results in reasonably even areas of white space, complementing the intense detail for the rivers (and surrounding lands) themselves that are a hallmark of Stephen’s style. The completed work therefore doesn’t overwhelm with information or feel unevenly cramped, so it is rather pleasing to the eye as a complete piece. The artist has used several different font styles to denote different kinds of features, and included various historical annotations, such as marks of major floods.

The work can be viewed on the TAG Fine Arts website or at their studio in Islington, where it can also be purchased, as part of an edition of 50.

If you are a long-time Mapping London reader and are thinking that this style looks familiar, you’d be right, we’ve featured works by Stephen Walter a couple of times before. We’ve also previous featured maps of underground rivers and even tube-style maps of the waterways.

As an aside, prolific London blogger Diamond Geezer‘s 2015 project is walking the Unlost Rivers of London, many of whom are included on the map here.

Thank you to TAG Fine Arts for the complementary ticket to the London Art Fair, where The Rivers of London was on display, along with several over map-related artworks, such as some works by Adam Dant. The photographs here are from their website.


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