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Sir Joseph Bazalgette

October 9 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Cleansing the Victorian Metropolis

A Gresham College lecture by Dr Stephen Halliday

2019 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Sir Joseph Bazalgette (1819-1891), and will see the building of the first major addition to the system he created to prevent sewage entering the Thames. The Thames Tideway Tunnel is now finally making its way 16 miles beneath the course of the river from Acton to the Thames Estuary, to intercept storm water which would otherwise enter the Thames.

The illustrated lecture examines Bazalgette’s achievement and the work involved in building this latest addition to it.

Dr Stephen Halliday is a writer, lecturer and broadcaster with a particular interest in Victorian London and in the engineers who made nineteenth century cities safe and habitable. He has written for The Observer, The Guardian and The Financial Times and has made several radio and television programmes based on his books. He also writes and reviews regularly for BBC History, The Literary review, The Times Higher and The Daily Telegraph.

No reservations are required for this free event, which takes place in the lecture hall of the Museum of London. It is run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

Doors open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture.

Details of lecture

Gresham College was founded in 1597 under the will of Sir Thomas Gresham, and has been providing free lectures within the City of London for over 400 years. It was the first ‘university’ in England besides Oxford and Cambridge, making it London’s oldest higher education institution still in existence today. It does not enrol any students, and awards no degrees.

The College has been recording its lectures since the 1980s and there are now over 1,900 lectures freely available online in text, audio or video formats. The provision of this free online archive of lectures aligns with its founding principles of accessible free education for all.


October 9
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Gresham College


Museum of London
150 London Wall
London, EC2Y 5HN United Kingdom
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020 7001 9844