Current & Future Events

Mudlarking at Henfield Hall

Saturday 11th May, 11am - 4:30pm

For one day only London's top mudlarks display their collections of amazing treasures reflecting the history of the River Thames. 

Meet the mudlarks and view their incredible river-found artefacts that tell the story of London. 

 

 

Mudlarking: Unearthing London's Past

March 2 - May 30 

Emery Walker's House, 7 Hammersmith Terrace, W6 9TS ​

The highlight of the exhibit is a complete alphabet of Doves Type from The Doves Press, a private printing press joint-founded by Emery Walker and T.J. Cobden-Sanderson in the first decade of the 20th century.

This marks the first time a full set of Doves Type has ever been exhibited, as until recently, the pieces lay at the bottom of the River Thames, following a spectacular falling out between the Press’s founders. The loss and recovery of the Doves Type will not be the only star of the exhibition, as a tremendous range of mudlarked finds spanning London's history will also be on display. Highlights to include fossils, prehistoric flint tools, Roman coins and pottery, Medieval pilgrim badges, Tudor fashion accessories, 17th century children's toys, Georgian personal adornments and Victorian curiosities.

Online Talk: Discovering & Digitally Recreating the Doves Type

24 April 2024 at 6pm, £7

For 97 years, experts and enthusiasts searched in vain for the Doves type, thrown in the Thames by T.J. Cobden-Sanderson during a bitter dispute over its ownership with former Doves Press partner Emery Walker. Cobden-Sanderson had resolved to prevent Walker from having it: for five months between 1916 and 1917, he would take a small batch of type from the Doves Press across Hammersmith Bridge under cover of darkness and cast it into the Thames. He eventually disposed of the entire fount, over a ton of metal type.

In October 2014, Robert Green was the first to discover a portion of the lost type, part of his research for a project to redraw and digitise the famous Doves Roman typeface. Carefully retracing Cobden-Sanderson's route across Hammersmith Bridge, Green identified the spot where the fount was discarded almost a century before. After finding several pieces of type, he enlisted salvage divers from the Port of London Authority. Returning to the bridge with the divers in November 2014, a further 148 Doves sorts were recovered and used as references for his digital Doves type. 

​In this talk, Robert will discuss the Doves type's creation and destruction, and his project to rediscover and resurrect it for the digital age. Robert Green is currently researching his PhD on the influence of the Doves Press.

​This is a live talk, that takes place over zoom. Attendees will be sent the link the day of the talk. Tickets are available from the link below.

https://emery-walker-house.arttickets.org.uk/emery-walkers-house/2024-04-24-online-talk-discovering-digitally-recreating-the-doves-type

Mudlarking Excursion: Footsteps of Mudlarks

3 March 2024 10.30am-12.30pm & 14 April 2024 11am-1pm £25

A chance to get onto the foreshore at Millennium Bridge and find the archaeological surface artefacts revealed by the River Thames. Who knows what will be discovered - smoking pipes, drainpipes, pottery, bones…? There is lots of evidence of London's past to be found! 

​This session is being run by the Thames Explorer Trust.

Meet Point: glass obelisk under Millennium Bridge, on the North Bank, we will explore the foreshore from the bridge to Queenhithe Dock. We are guaranteed to find pipes, pottery and lots of evidence as the twice daily tide reveals London's history.

​*Further details (including Health and Safety) on the booking page via the link below

March 3: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/footsteps-of-mudlarks-emery-walkers-house-3rd-march-millennium-bridge-tickets-825050908477?aff=oddtdtcreator#search

April 14: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/footsteps-of-mudlarks-emery-walkers-house-14th-april-millennium-bridge-tickets-825277305637?aff=oddtdtcreator

 

Past Events

Mudlarking Exhibition at Watermen's Hall

We are excited to announce a series of mudlarking exhibitions in various locations around London throughout 2024. 

The first exhibition will take place at Watermen’s Hall, the historic home of the Thames Watermen & Lightermen on Saturday and Sunday, 24th - 25th February from 10am - 4pm. You will find the Hall at 16-18 St Mary at Hill, a stone’s throw from the Tower of London. See thousands of mudlarking artefacts in this beautiful building in Central London. Each day 15 different mudlarks will be displaying their personal collections. It’s a rare opportunity to see their finds and hear firsthand the backstories from the mudlarks who found them. 

On Sunday 25th February at 4pm, Nathalie Cohen from the National Trust will be presenting her lecture “The Fishful Thames”: Fish and Fishing on the River’. Decades of investigation along the banks of the Thames have revealed evidence of various forms of fishing over hundreds of years. Nathalie’s talk will focus on the archaeological evidence of this activity through time and examine the iconography and presentation of fish and fishing, especially during the medieval period.

Entry to the exhibition is free, so we hope you can come!

Knives, Weapons & Warfare at Cutlers' Hall

Saturday 1st July - Sunday 2nd July
10am - 4pm, free entry to exhibition
Talks £5 - 10

Mudlarking Exhibition with a focus on artefacts that speak of weapons and warfare, and knives, in the historic surroundings of Cutlers' Hall, home to the Worshipful Company of Cutlers. With over 20 mudlarks displaying their personal collections of artefacts, you'll have the chance to get your hands on history, meeting the mudlarks as well as their finds. Knife expert and mudlark Simon Moore will be talking knives, and Graham duHeaume will be in conversation with Monika Buttling-Smith, talking about the 'Golden Years of Mudlarking', the 1970s - 1980s.

Free entry to the exhibition. The talks cost from £5 to £10. To buy, click the button, below.

MUDLARKS AND THE THAMES : WITH JASON HICKLIN AND JASON SANDY

3pm - 5pm: Exhibition of mudlarking finds with the chance to talk with Jason Hicklin and Jason Sandy about their work and their interest in the River Thames.  Also showing artefacts are mudlarks Kasia Green, Kristina Kapciukaite and Alessio Checconi.

On Saturday 22nd April Jason Hicklin will be joined at the gallery with author and committed mudlark, Jason Sandy. To celebrate the coinciding of Hicklin’s current gallery exhibition, The River | Part Two, and Sandy’s latest book (Mudlarks: Treasures from the Thames),  we will be exhibiting a number of the latter’s most treasured findings alongside Hicklin’s new series of London etchings. So please join us for what promises to be a unique, deep dive into the long, winding history of one of the world’s most famous rivers from two very different viewpoints.

Hands on History: touring exhibition 2022

September 1 - 30, Venues:

Watermen's Hall / St. Paul's Cathedral / National Maritime Museum / London's Roman Amphitheatre

Watermen's Hall

Step into the historic Watermen’s Hall and discover the world of the famous Thames Watermen & Lightermen who have worked on the River Thames for centuries. Within this beautiful hall, mudlarks will tell the story of the Watermen & Lightermen through the personal objects recovered by mudlarks from the Thames. These artefacts reveal the ‘working river’ during its heyday as the largest port in the world at the height of the British Empire.

Look out for young singer/songwriter Louis Forward, who will be playing sea shanties in Watermen’s Hall.

 St. Paul's Cathedral

St. Paul's Cathedral, 15th - 16th September 2022

(Rescheduled to January 2030 due to national period of mourning)

Travel back in time to the Middle Ages through handling medieval artefacts recovered by mudlarks from the River Thames. See some of the personal belongings which people escaping from the Great Fire of London lost as they crossed the river, fleeing from the all-consuming inferno. During the exhibition, mudlarks will display thousands of historic artefacts from their private collections which reveal fascinating stories about past Londoners and the perils they lived through.

National Maritime Museum

Experience Tudor London by seeing and handling the 16th century artefacts recovered by mudlarks from the River Thames in front of the former Palace of Placentia in Greenwich. Within the National Maritime Museum, mudlarks will display their private collections of artefacts which reveal everyday life in the palace – from the jewellery worn by the royal family to the food and drinks they consumed. The maritime history of Greenwich will also be showcased through mudlarks' discoveries.

Roman Amphitheatre

Step back in time and walk in the footsteps of the gladiators within the ancient Roman amphitheatre! It was once a venue for wild animal fights and gladiatorial combats. During the mudlarking exhibition in the amphitheatre, you will have the rare opportunity to see and hold personal items lost by Romans who lived in London over 1,600 years ago. Each object tells a unique story about Roman life in Londinium.

Hands on History: touring exhibition 2021

September 1 - 30, Venues:

St. Paul's Cathedral / Cutlers' Hall / Chiswick Pier Trust

St. Paul's Cathedral

Join us for a highly interactive mudlarking exhibition in one of the most iconic and historic buildings in London.

In the historic setting of St Paul’s Cathedral, this mudlarking exhibition provides a unique opportunity to meet London’s mudlarks and see their fascinating collections which have been passionately assembled over several decades of searching the exposed riverbed at low tide. You will have the chance to experience tangible ‘Hands on History’ and see large-scale portraits of the mudlarks captured by professional photographer, Hannah Smiles.

Cutlers' Hall

As part of Totally Thames, the Worshipful Company of Cutlers will open their doors to the public for a chance to see their extraordinary collection of knives, daggers, swords and many other artefacts in their permanent collection. Over 800 knives recovered from the River Thames by mudlark Graham duHeaume will also be on display. He and other mudlarks will be exhibiting their extensive collections during this exclusive event in the historic Cutler’s Hall.

Chiswick Pier Trust

Situated along the River Thames, this mudlarking exhibition provides a unique opportunity to meet London’s mudlarks and see their fascinating collections which have been passionately assembled over several decades of searching the exposed riverbed at low tide. You will have the chance to experience tangible ‘Hands on History’ and see large-scale portraits of the mudlarks captured by professional photographer, Hannah Smiles.

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