"I went cross the Thames on the ice, now become so thick as to beare not onely streetes of boothes in which they roasted meate, and had divers shops of wares quite across as in a towne, but coaches, carts and horses passed over. There are coaches, sleds, skating, bull- baiting, horse races, puppet plays, food and drink, so that it seems to be a carnival on the water.”
“At this time there was a foot passage quite over the river, from Lambeth-stairs to the Horse-ferry at Westmister; and Hackney coaches began to carry fares from Somerset House and the Temple to Southwark.”
John Evelyn (British writer and diarist (1620-1706) recounting scenes from the 1683 Frost Fair.
The river in its frozen state acted as a platform of connectivity between the North and South of London. People changed the way they navigated across London, taking shortcuts across the ice. The activities hosted on the frozen river encouraged social integration between the North and South of London. The river, in its previous state, acted as a divide between Southwark (a decrepit area rife with prostitution) and the affluent Temple, however when frozen, it acted as a common ground between the two.