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John Cooper | all galleries >> All along the River Thames >> Putney Bridge > Criminals were locked in this cage and left to drown when the tide came in.
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John Victor Cooper

Criminals were locked in this cage and left to drown when the tide came in.

Putney Bridge view map

When I was a child we all believed without question that this happened.

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Gaz hardy 18-Mar-2019 15:34
i was locked in this once and died but im ok now because i cut the bar with a piece of wood
John Cooper29-Oct-2014 09:55
Andrew I have walked past this just after a storm.
The smell is truly disgusting.
Men who work down the sewers are very brave.
Andrew G 28-Oct-2014 22:47
Oh, and I believed it too as a child. We lived in Earldom Road, Putney, just a 5 minute walk from the Thames, and the foreshore and towpath were my playground in the early 60s.
Andrew G 28-Oct-2014 22:44
Yes, it's a Putney myth! These cages are to prevent access to a large stormwater drain which discharges into the river in conditions of very heavy rain. They were built into the bridge by the designer, Joseph Bazalgette (the same Bazalgette who built London's Victorian sewage system), who also incorporated an air vent into one of the arches of the bridge to ensure constant water pressure in the drain. Apparently the collected detritus, when occasionally discharged, is exceptionally aromatic and best avoided...!
Not very exciting, I'm afraid, but interesting nonetheless.
Jack. 24-Feb-2010 23:28
HaHa a fairy tale im sure.
John Cooper08-Jul-2006 07:04
We kept looking for bodies every time we passed at low tide. Never saw one.
I am now beginning to think it might have been a fairy tale.
1moremile07-Jul-2006 23:29
did it?
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