An Underground Guide to Sewers

or: Down, Through and Out in Paris, London, New York, &c.


A quirky yet hugely informative global guide to the magnificently designed and engineered structures that lie deep underground beneath our feet.


ISBN: 9780500252352 Category:

Stephen Halliday


Lose yourself in the vast sewer networks that lie beneath the world’s great cities – past and present. Let detailed archival plans, maps and photographs guide you through these subterranean labyrinths – previously accessible only to their builders, engineers and, perhaps, the odd rogue explorer. This execrable exploration traces the evolution of waste management from the ingenious infra-structures of the ancient world to the seeping cesspits and festering open sewers of the medieval period. It investigates and celebrates the work of the civil engineers whose pioneering integrated sewer systems brought to a close the devastating cholera epidemics of the mid-19th century and continue to serve a vastly increased population today. And let’s not forget those giant fatbergs clogging our underground arteries, or the storm-surge super-structures of tomorrow.

Additional information

Weight 948 g
Dimensions 17.8 x 24.7 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 10 October 2019
Number of pages 256
Format Hardback
Contributors Foreword by Peter Bazalgette
Dimensions 17.8 x 24.7 cm
Weight 948 g


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Stephen Halliday is a specialist in industrial history and the author of a number of books, including Water: A Turbulent History, Amazing and Extraordinary London Underground Facts and The Great Stink: Sir Joseph Bazalgette and the Cleansing of the Victorian Metropolis. He regularly lectures at Cambridge University and presented with Michael Buerk the Channel 5 programme 'What the Victorians Did for Us'. Sir Peter Bazalgette is the great-great-grandson of Victorian civil engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette and the former head of both ITV and the Arts Council of England.