1. Gunpowder Plot
  2. Thamesmead Tor

Gunpowder Plot

13 riders at 10 am in Peckham Square on a cool, wet morning. Set out with Bruce leading down the Canal Path, across Burgess Park then C17 and C6 overe Blackfriars bridge, stopping at Fleet St. The plan was to follow the events of 1605-6 in (very roughly) chronological order. The plotters, led by Robert Catesby, met in the Duck and Drake off the Strand to organise their dreadful deed.  Sadly the splendidly named D and D no longer exists. We looked at The Old Bell in Fleet St. It has the appearance of a conspirators pub but is not old enough. The Seven Stars in Cary St, just off the Fleet St and close to the Strand is old enough (records from 1602). So here was a pub where the potters might have sunk a pint or two.

Headed next to where the gunpowder was stored. For this the plotters moved south of the river to a house owned by Catesby in Fore St. Fore St also no longer exists but is where we now have the Albert Embankment. To get there we crossed Waterloo Bridge, easy to reach from Fleet St now traffic has mostly been removed from The Strand at the Aldwych. Then Belvedere Rd and Archbishops Park (very slippery leaves) to Lambeth Bridge. Reckoned Fore St was probably about where the old Fire Brigade HQ is just past the bridge. This is conveniently just upstream from Parliament, and the house was on the waterfront. Nice and handy for rowing across to Parliament at night with a few barrels of gunpowder. 

Next over Lambeth bridge to Parliament. First stop Old Palace Yard where the plotters were hung, drawn and quartered. The exact building that was to be blown up, the then House of Lords, yet again no longer exists. However Westminster Hall where the surviving plotters were put on trial is still there. Finally, rather out of sequence, we set off for the Tower. Here Guy Fawkes was tortured to reveal the names of the other plotters. He held out for 2 days!  Finished with a gentle return ride to Peckham via Tower Bridge, Tower Bridge Road, C10 and C35. Back as planned around 1pm. Bruce leading.  Route at https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=1lphp8TMWxDrojm-hSnsgFy7b1JWLLHI&usp=sharing

Thamesmead Tor

8 riders met with ride leaders Mary and Mike at the Cutty Sark at 10pm for a 3 hour ride back and forth along the Thames path to the Tor (or Gallions Hill). This is a 20-metre-high landmark created from recycled excavated material when they built Thamesmead. A spiral wide surfaced path leads to the summit.

Summit of the Tor

Mary reported briefly:” The ride to the tor went very well, even in the rain. The sun shone briefly on the Tor for our group photo. Returned to Cutty Sark at 1pm.”

Jamie posted on WhatsApp (The Vulnerables): ”Really fabulous ride today and a successful ascent the summit of Mount Thamesmead, circa 36,000 ft, despite heavy snow fall and avalanches. Many thanks to Mike and Mary.”   Possibly some poetic license here regarding altitude and weather (ed).

Route map, including a quiet route from Canada Water to the start, is at https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1QeZCbIIk0WveaCd_Jx_GLc5iI9J7SK1m&usp=sharing

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