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c1872 map of the Greenwich Peninsula and part of the Isle of Dogs.

London in 1300.

London in 1832.

An extract from Cross's New Plan Of London, showing Stepney and surrounding areas. Published 1853 by J.Cross of London. Date- 1 January 1853.

London in the 1920's.


c1872 map of the Greenwich Peninsula and part of the Isle of Dogs.

Without due care the London would floods would get worse over time. Whilst some places like the low-lying Isle of Grain, Canvey Island, Hoo peninsular, Benfleet and Isle of Sheppey would flood more frequently, others further up stream like Plummeted, Plumstead, the Greenwich peninsular, West Ham CB and the Isle of Dogs would once more become permanent swamps and tidal marshlands.

London is the capital city of the United Kingdom and England with a population of around 8 million people living only in the urban area of London. It contains some of the worlds most famous buildings and some of the tallest buildings in the UK. These include Big Ben, House of Parliament, London Eye, Tower Bridge, Wembley Stadium, Canary Wharf, St. Paul's Cathedral and The Gherkin. But how long can London last without people?

Westminster is an area of central London within the City of Westminster on the north bank of the River Thames. Westminster's concentration of visitor attractions and historic landmarks, one of the highest in London, includes the Palace of Westminster , Buckingham Palace , Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral . What will happen to this historical city without us?

Westminster Abbey is one of the oldest landmarks of London, the capitol of United Kingdom, Europe. But, what if the old building was getting no care?

The Tower of London is a castle in London. It has four small towers, one on each corner. How long will this world-famous castle survive on its own?

The 30 St Mary Axe (known as the Gherkin Building) in London is made up of 745 layers of glass panels that let in so much natural light that heating and lighting, the building costs half as much as a normal office building, but could the glass be the trigger to its destruction? In a life after people, without it's 90 person maintenance crew, how long will the structure last?

This is a investigation in to how long a deserted London will last for.

The phenomena at play[]

Some possible factors that could come in to play-

Flood plain[]

Most of the Thames was surrounded by at leads a few feet of flood plain or marshland. Large tracts were swamps or mud flats were running all the way from the River Lea’s outflow to Canvey Island and the Isle of Grain.

Others existed along the river Roding in Redbridge and at the River Lea as far as Enfield Lock. These included Plumstead Mars, Rediff Marsh, Westham Abby Marsh, the Plaistow Level and Rainham Marsh. Lambeth was a moorland, with a coastal swamp (Lambeth Marsh) and inland swamp (Lower Marsh) in the 1300’s.

The old Isle of Dogs, Stepney Marsh, Blackwall Level, Bugsby's Marsh and North Greenwich Marsh were drained in the 17th century and joined up as the then farming peninsulas that are now the Isle of Dogs and the Greenwich peninsula. The marshes were mostly reclaimed by the 1880's and totally drained by World War 2, but would revert if the dykes, drains and embankments failed. Thames Embankment (at Westminster) was overwhelmed and part of the Chelsea Embankment did collapse in the flood of 1923.

Teddington, Chiswick, Putney, Hammersmith, Westmister, Southwark, Barns, Battersea and Richmond (in Surrey) flood on occasion and some incidents have occurred as far north as Oxford, but any permanent mass flooding by the Thames would not get past about Battersea.

Other moorlands and bogs[]

Moorefield was a bog from which the Wallbrook takes most of its water from. The River Brent has a habit of flooding in Hendon, Perivale, Brentford and Hanwell. Parts of Hampstead heath were marshland and the River Wandle used to flood Wandle Park, Carshalton Pond and Waddon Marsh when they were farmland.

The Thames Barrier, Chatham Sea Wall and Canvey Island Sea Wall.[]

The Thames [Flood] Barrier, Chatham Sea Wall, Canvey Island Sea Walls - 1880's (fell apart by the early 1960s and demolished), 1947 (demolished in the 1950s), 1954, 1970's and 1980's walls also do their bit, but without human help...


January 3rd 2018 saw the mass blackout of London after a rogue Iranian politician's computer virus. His agents then strike as several chemical weapons go off on the Circle Line and in Chelsea. Suicide bomber's explosive belts explode in a pub in northern Southwark, a Soho gay-bar, a Harrow corner-shop, 15 snack bars\fast food restaurants\fish and chips\kebab shops in Harringay, a toilet in Westminster underground station, a toilet at Ealing Broadway Station and a toilet in Heathrow airport.

15 minutes later a dirty bomb also irradiates central Westminster. A 1kt suitcase nuke blows up in Tilbury Dock. A few hours later, dirty bombs go off in central Highgate, Heathrow airport and Hampstead Heath. A car bomb explodes in a busy part of Bethnal Green, Whapping, Wemberly and Layton.

A second attack occurs as radiological 'dirty' bomb irradiates coastal Dartford, central Wembely and northern Highgate; and a couple of chemical weapons go off in central Southend Late the next day.

Finally a couple of chemical weapons go off in the mostly empty Heathrow Airport two days later.

The public are soon evacuated and mostly survive in the Essex, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Oxfordshire, Kent, Bukinghamshire, Hampdhire, E. Sussex, W. Sussex, Berkshire and Ostend refuge camps with in 1 week.

Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Japan, China, Israel, Turkey, S. Africa, Egypt, New Zealand, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Iceland, France, Ireland, Denmark, Luxembourg, Belgian and the Netherlands gave lots of emergency aid a few days after the event occurred. Iran and Oman denounce the attack at the emergency summits of the UN, NATO, Arab League, the EU and GCC.

Afghan, Vietnamese, Peruvian, Egyptian, Turkish, Israel, Iranian, Iraqi, Kurdish, Lebanese, S. African, French, Russian, Kazakh, Uzbek, Swiss, American and Australian agents track the bastards down and the USAF bomb the Kandahar hard liner base to rubble, killing them all, to the delight of both Afghanistan, Israel, the UK, Uzbekistan and Iran. 

The post human floods and decay[]

The possible returned marshes.

A possible long turn flood scenario would run like this-

1 second[]

It all begins!

6 hours[]

The till goes in to sleep mode.

1 day[]

Electricity supplies fails, so pumps and fans fail. The power goes out and the rest of London lost electricity. All of London blacks out when its power grid falls.

3 days[]

Big Ben rings for the last time. London will never hear this clock chime again...that is until 100 years have passed.

1 to 5 days[]

London Underground quickly floods as the pumps fail or are destroyed. It fills with rain water, aquifer water and water excess from the Thames as well as sewerage from broken sewers. Sections are flooded as the rivers Fleet, Wall Brook, Bayswater, Lambourne, Kilburn, New River, Beverly, Tyburn, Ranelagh and Westborne all burst out of damaged pipes to in the next few days. London Underground's tunnels fully flood out with in a few years. Much of the coastal land between the Isle of Canvey, the Isle of Grain, the Greenwich Peninsula and the Isle of Dogs, like Plumstead Marsh, steadily becomes wetter as dykes and pumps fail, leading to it becoming a swamp in a few more years. Food starts to rot. Mice, escaped zoo animals, rats, cockroaches, pidgins, crows, dogs, cats and flies feast on it. 

1 week[]

Food is rotting around the city and attracting creatures, such as pigeons and mice. Evo Morales, Nursultan Nazarbayev, Pope Francis, Silvio Belasconi, Alan Juppe, Enda Kerney and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI all tour UK refugee camps and offer their nations' support to the UK.

2 weeks[]

The Queen's Welsh- Corgis are hungry. But after 2 weeks, the Corgis have finished off a banquet set for hundreds, and all 9 eventually break out. They hunt rodents in the gardens.

1 month[]

The pitch at Wembley Stadium is beginning to become overgrown.

3 months[]

A storm comes in from the North Sea, but the Thames Barrier keeps out most of the risen flood waters. The Thames itself floods destroying famous restaurants, while most buildings suffer no damage at all.

5 Months[]

Grass grows on the doors ways and around streets where The Westminster Abbey stands still.

6-9 months[]

Caravans and porta-cabins rot and collapse.

8 month[]

The wood laminate interiors begin to rot and warp and PVC windows fog up. Metal signs are now rusty and wooden sings disintegrate due to rot.

1 Year[]

The windows of the buildings start to fall out, leaving them vulnerable to plant life and animals. The grass climbs up from the doors to the roof, which leaves the two towers on top untouched by the growing grass & leaving the interior filled with vines & grass, and caused some windows to shatter. Buildings around London have not yet begun to corrode in the first year but soon, salt water from the Thames will start eating away at the buildings. Food finally rots off. The mainly prefabricated plasterboard, light weight and wood-built buildings also rot. Bigger brick and concrete buildings hold on the former signs and vehicles are now rusty. The window of the offices falls down, as do the commercial neon Street signs. Rotting wooden bill boards collapses as well.

2 years[]

Rotting sewerage makes the city's basements very stinky and slippery.

3 years[]

Most paint has drained out and flaked off, swimming pools are now swamps and rooms are covered in a thick layer of leaves and dust. Parks and soccer fields are now fields. Vehicles rot down to there tiers, engine block, windscreens, rubber parts, plastic bits and under-frame.

4 years[]

The River Lee Navigation canals, the New River flood elevation canal and the related storm drainage channels finally block up with debris from up stream causing it to flood in to its former marshland. The Canvey island and Chatham flood-wall collapse due to lack of care. A 1.5 million strong town called New Holburn is planned to be built in Northumbria. Many other towns and cities expand to accommodate the refugees, with Chelmsford, Swindon, Stafford, Bristol and Basingstoke are all marked for urgent expansion.

5 years[]

All vehicles have rusted down to only there glass, rubber and plastic parts. The plants had already covered the whole entire cathedral and the interior of the 11th century cathedral. The pitch at Wembley Stadium has became so overgrown that it now covers the seats. The photos of Buckingham Palace are choked with greenery. Parliment passes the bull for building New Holburn, etc.

6 Years[]

Heavy rain and neglect causes trouble and floods in Catford, Lewisham and parts of Woolworth. Coastal Kent and Essex (particularly Isle of Canvey, the Isle of Grain, Benfleet and Thurrock) are flooded out and revert to marshland. The local sewers fail the streets are awash with long forgotten rotting sewage.

7 years[]

Remaining sewers, water mains, culverted rivers and piped rivers break out due to a lack of maintenance. The Serpentine becomes polluted and reverts to nature. Highgate and Hampstead Ponds are less polluted, but still radioactive and revert to nature. Tokyngton Park in Tokyngton is flooded and also returns to nature

8 Years[]

One of the tower's at Westminster Abby concrete on the very top started to get loose as well as the tower is shaking 2.3 inches forward and backwards in the wind but haven't fallen down yet.

10 years[]

The Thames flood barrier begins to decay badly. The first major building begins to collapse. Office windows break, leaving them vulnerable to plant life and animals. Greenery has covered London in shrubbery.The Thames overwhelms any rubble, the remaining dykes and remaining lock gates. Most sewage and drainage outflow pipes become blocked or tidally inverted at high tides. Building New Holbourn starts.

11 years[]

The sewers in the tidal zones fail due to no maintenance, so the streets and rivers are awash with the remaining long forgotten sewage. The already damaged Brent Reservoir's dam-wall collapses and it returns to nature..

12 years  []

Most of the River Brent floods as it reclaims its flood plane. 

15 years  []

The Newham LB an Redbridge LB parts of River Roading floods and so reclaiming its flood plane. The concrete on the very top of the loose tower at Westminster Abbey had fell off the building and fell to the grassy roads and the loose tower to almost fall off its structure. The 1,500,000 strong city of New Holburn is formally opened to settlement.

18 Years[]

The loose tower finally falls down into the church's interior, causing some seats and part of the roof to be crushed after the wind causing that much damage to take down the loose tower piece. New Holburn is sold out to costumers and now full up as building work ends.

20 years[]

Glass begins to fall out of London buildings. The famous glass pyramid on top of One Canada Square is finally eradicated, leaving a rusting steel frame left. The Gherkin 's windows crumble as they hit the streets below. The Thames Flood Barrier becomes very corroded and begins to fail due to rust and frost cracking the cement.

25 years []

Most ordinary residential and working building have collapsed. When the levies fail, Floodwater from the Thames damages the Wembely stadium and the pitch becomes a bog. Floodwater from the Thames also damages the Wemberly stadium stone, metal, brick and concrete foundations.The other Westminster Abby tower also gets loose but only two of it steel supports we're disconnected by the wind 1 decade ago, but all of the windows fall off the almost loose tower.  

40 years []

The wet and rotting tower blocks starts to deteriorate badly.

45 years []

Wild packs of cats, dogs, wolves and ex-zoo predators like Hyenas roam the ruinous street and take over it's wild places. The entrance gate to Westminster Abbey was the only one to collapse a little bit because only tiny pieces of the middle fell off

50 years[]

Flooding from the Thames has weakened the base of 8 Canada Square. It begins to lean slowly. While the Thames Barrier has kept London safe for 50 years, it is now swallowed by the river and leaves London defenseless against the North Sea. The flooded London Underground tunnels collapse in on there selves along with the streets above. The Thames Flood Barrier finally collapses in to it's self. London's open spaces are now forests. The steel is rusting badly, corrosion is rife and frost damage is also taking a heavy toll; as bridges and offices face collapse. The flooded London Underground tunnels collapse in on there selves along with the streets above. New Holborn has a population of 2.5 million by now.

55 years []

The River Thames short cuts through the lakes that were formed by the former London Docklands and undermines remaining dock foundations causing their collapse. 

60 years []

Greenwich Peninsular and the Isle of Dogs become permanently flooded as remaining dock foundations collapse. The Thames floods floods as it reclaims some of its flood plane. River Medway reclaiming some of its flood plains.

75 Years[]

The other corner of the entrance gate to Westminster Abbey had fell of with the right side of the gate remaining. A additional collapse was the church's floor because of no repair since the flood and grass covered the floor for too long and shattered the floor into pieces on only half of the floor we're taken down but the building still stands: The Pride of the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics and the BT Tower  fall from the skyline.

75-100 years []

The remaining big buildings and offices are in the state of collapse.

95 Years[]

The other 2 steel structures at Westminster Abby got loose on November 16th, 2113. On December 23rd, 2113, The other loose tower falls on the front instead on the floor, causing moderate damage to the exterior front structure and the half of the undamaged floor finally weakens and breaks into pieces as well.

95 to 125 years after man[]

The Isle of Dogs, the Greenwich peninsular, Turrock, Greys, Dartford, Rotherhithe, Beckton, Canada Warf and the relevant stretch the River Thames become a muddy, radioactive swamp land with various rivers, lakes and piles of rubble in it by the millennium. Other places like Moorefields, Lambeth, Battersea, Barns, Brentford, Putney and Wandle park become marshland once more. The remaining big building and offices are mostly collapsed by now.

100 years[]

More buildings fall in London. The arch of Wembley Stadium falls onto the ground in a very knockity style. Big Ben is leaning too much and smashes to the London streets, destroying even more buildings in the process. The clock chimes one last time before it completely crumbles. Parts of The Westminster Bridge now fall apart. The rusting legs of the London Eye snap in half and collapse. The floors of Tower 42 fall out, leaving the skeleton left. The Gherkin is covered in vegetation and the exterior double-layered glass panels have finally begun to fall out and shatter on the sidewalk below. The land around the Tower of London floods and reverts to swamp. It sinks a few feet in to the ground, but still bravely and successfully holds out.

101 Years[]

On July 21st, 2119 was the 101th anniversary of the dispersal of people, which have all the windows falling out besides the windows from the demolished loose tower that fell on April 17th, 2033. the flood reaches 8.94 inches and the St Margaret Church Collapses near the Westminster Abbey gets minor damage on one of its sides.

125 years[]

The land around it floods and reverts to swamp. It sinks a few feet in to the ground, but still bravely and successfully holds out.

150 years[]

8 Canada Square falls from Canary Wharf. The Gherkin and The Bishopgate Tower lose their floors but metallic skeletons still stand. Meanwhile, the frame of Tower 42 finally dies and collapses. The corroded beams of The Gherkin fail where they have the most weight to bear: the floors. The collapse of one floor triggers the collapse of the next until every floor collapses in the pancake effect. However without the weight of its floors and windows, the diamond shaped frame will continue to endure. Westminster Abbey collapses. The church finally collapses since the minor damaged wall falls backwards and caused lots of smoke the supports couldn't support the collapse of the wall, so it it finally caved in the shattered floor on May 9th, 2168, Its also the day that the Williamsburg bridge collapses.

175 years[]

One Canada Square appears as it is being knocked by an enormous hammer leaving Canary Wharf no more.

200 years[]

The famous Tower Bridge plops into the Thames, while the tallest building in the UK, The Shard , falls below, leaving the Gherkin the tallest building in London. All the pieces of the Westminster Bridge have disappeared. Big Ben collapses and the other half of St Margaret's Church collapses. The Queen's dogs' spawn escape Buckingham Palace and abandon it.

250 years[]

The Bishopgate Tower 's skeleton is being weakened by plants as they climb up the remaining part of the tower.

280 Years[]

Buckingham Palace's Statue Collapse, and Nelson's Column is almost ready to collapse

300 years[]

The famous Wembley Stadium and Tower 290 finally break, while the skeleton of the Bishopgate Tower dies in a catastrophic collapses. The Gherkin 's rein as the tallest building in London is ending. The diamond supports finally buckle and crumble. Nelson 's columns' lower 66% also snaps in the wind and dive into the water as well. Not many buildings still exist in London. The steel frame of the Gherkin finally give after during a storm. The entire frame topples over and collapses, crushing the St. Andrew Undershaft church in the process. Buckingham Palace finally falls at the first day of summer

350 Years[]

Trafalgar Square finally is gone under vegetation forever and Queen Elizabeth's dogs' descendents finally roam the city of Westminster.

365 Years[]

The Westminster Cathedral is still standing and the House of Lords (part of the 18th century building, House Of Parliaments) collapses and broke the floors under it.

386 Years[]

The Cathedral of Westminster Towers collapse and finally, the House of Parliaments (except for the Victoria Tower) collapses and pollute the Thames River.

392 Years[]

The Victoria Tower Collapses to the river, while the sewers are starting to pollute the Thames River to give a bad reputation to the city.

395 Years[]

50% of the bridges in Westminster is done for and collapses.

398 Years[]

64% of the Westminster bridges is gone.

400 Years[]

All the bridges are gone, while the Westminster Cathedral finally collapses. all the phone booths fall apart and are parts of the remaining history. The dome of St. Paul's Cathedral caves into the rest of the cathedral.

500 years[]

The The Houses of Parliament still stand but now, it, along with Buckingham Palace, is ending its life. They end by collapsing with the structural 'domino effect', the grand finale.

1000 years[]

Though most buildings have collapsed, the Tower of London still stands. Even the Colosseum in Rome would collapse by now after such an abandonment. Could at least one structure still recognizable as a building in London? We shall see. Nearly all of London has disappeared, while the Tower of London and Westminster Abby still exist. But who will win the race of survival?


London begins to turn swampy en masse.

10,000 years[]

10,000 years has seen London with only two landmarks left. But now the Tower of London 's four pyramids caves in and rest of tower collapses. The final bell falls in the Abbey, crumbling the church and burying the royal graves. The concrete, brick, and stone of Trafalgar Square may still remain for thousands of years, though. Despite the neglect, the Tower of London refuses to fall down. Even its friend, the Hoover Dam , has given up. Some structures, such as the Jubilee Church and Washington Monument , are also trying to stay up. Finally, after 10,000 years without maintenance, the Tower of London's towers fall inside.

10,005 years[]

After 10,005 years without maintenance, the Tower of London's towers fall inside. The walls cave in as well.This castle is a folded up pyramid.

1,000,000 years[]

London has reverted back to the marsh that the Romans found here some 2000 years ago. Fragments of broken glass and plastic are all that remains of luxurious buildings and elegant restaurants and stores. London is now the marshland like the one the Romans had found during their conquest of England. Now dogs, cats, birds, lions, hyena, ostriches and sea animals now rule the deserted, abandoned, destroyed Westminster.

Also see[]

  1. O.T.L. history notes
  2. Attempted nuclear war simulation (TL)
  3. Thames flood notes (OTL)
  4. O.T.L. history notes
  5. Attempted nuclear war simulation (TL)
  6. Thames flood notes (OTL)
  7. Thames flood notes (1962 atomic strike)
  8. Atomic nuts
  9. Atomic\nuclear war
  10. UK OTL atomic reactors in 1962
  11. Attempted nuclear war simulation (TL)
  12. Thames flood notes (1962 atomic strike)
  13. UK war time regional seats of government