London Labour and the London Poor, volume 2
Of the Uses of Sewers as a Means of Subsoil Drainage.
THERE is other purpose toward which a sewer is available—a purpose, too, which I do not remember to have seen specified in the Metropolitan Reports.
The Report then shows the pains that were taken to ensure dryness in the Palace. Pits were dug in the garden feet below the surface, and feet below high-water mark in the river, and they were found dry to the bottom. The kitchens and yard of the palace are, however, only inches above Trinity high-water mark in the Thames, and therefore inches below a very high tide. The physician, Sir James Clarke, and the engineers, Messrs. Simpson and Walker, in a separate Report, spoke in terms of commendation of the drainage of the Palace in , as promotive of dryness. Since that time a connecting chain has been made from the Palace drains into the canal in St. James's-park, to prevent the wet from rising as formerly during heavy rains. "The Palace," it is stated in the Report of the engineers, "should not be classed with the low part of , where the drainage is, we believe, very defective, and to which, for anything we know to the contrary, the character given by Mr. Phillips may be applicable."
Unfortunately, however, for this array of opinions of high authority, and despite the advantages of a gravel bed for the substratum of the palatial sewerage, the drainage and sewerage about Buckingham Palace is more frequently than that of any other public place under repair, and is always requiring attention. It was only a few days ago, before the court left Windsor Castle for London, that men were employed night and day, on the drains and cesspoolage channels, to make, as of them described it to me—and such working-men's descriptions are often forcible—"the place I was hardly ever," he added, "in such a set of stinks as I've been in the sewers and underground parts of the palace."