History – Dead Man’s Hole

Rivers can be dangerous places and the River Thames is no exception. In fact its currents can drag a person underneath the waters when it might be days later they will reappear to be deposited somewhere along the river. As the Thames is tidal, there are places where it is more likely that a drowned body will appear.

    One of these is called Dead Man’s Hole and is situated under Tower Bridge on the north side of the river. It has had this reputation since the bridge was constructed in 1894 and gets its name from the fact that a temporary morgue was set up at this point.

    Bodies which were washed up would be laid out on a stone platform. Relatives and friends of people who had gone missing would come to this spot and view the corpses to see if their loved one was amongst them.

    Of course the morgue aspect is no longer there but the steps going into the river and the platform still remain. And if you stand near the gate that leads to the platform, it does not take too much imagination to see what it would have been like a hundred years ago.

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