Photo by Nick Stevens

The Thames Museum is proud to announce the new book:

THAMES MUDLARKING: Searching for London’s Lost Treasures 

written by museum trustees Nick Stevens and Jason Sandy.  For decades, mudlarks have been searching the exposed riverbed at low tide in London, hunting for historical treasure.  The THAMES MUDLARKING book beautifully illustrates and describes the fascinating objects found in the River Thames. Over 160 colour photographs of the historical artefacts found by more than 50 mudlarks appear throughout the book. These extraordinary objects recovered from the river tell the story of London and its inhabitants over the past 2,000 years.  You can pre-order a copy of the book on Amazon, Kobo and all good online bookstores. Click here to order your copy today:

​Mudlarking Exhibition at Cutler's Hall

 September 2021

 

​Mudlarking Exhibition at Chiswick Pier Trust

 September 2021

 

​Mudlarking Exhibitions

 September 2021

 

Photo by Nicola Bushnell

​Mudlarking Exhibition at St Paul's Cathedral

 September 2021

 

Photo by Milo Robinson, Thames Festival Trust

Photo by Jason Sandy

Tate Modern Exhibition

In March 2019, the Thames Museum collaborated with the Plymouth College of Art and organised an exhibition of mudlarking finds at the Tate Modern art museum in London.  Professional photographer, Hannah Smiles, exhibited her dramatic and detailed photographs of artifacts discovered by mudlarks in the River Thames.  Mudlarks Monika Buttling-Smith, Nick Stevens and Jason Sandy curated a display of their best mudlarking finds, ranging from the Mesolithic period to the Victorian era.  During the exhibition at the Tate, the mudlarks gave lectures about London’s history and the significance of the archaeology of the River Thames.  Visitors were encouraged to handle some of the artifacts to experience a tangible connection with London’s illustrious history.  We are grateful to the Plymouth College of Art for this fruitful collaboration.  

Photo by Nicola Bushnell

Photo by Jason Sandy

Photo by Jason Sandy

​Foragers of the Foreshore Exhibition​

In September 2019, the Thames Museum participated in the most expansive exhibition about mudlarking which has ever taken place.  As part of the exhibition organised by the Thames Festival Trust and curated by Florence Evans in the Bargehouse gallery at the OXO Tower, the Thames Museum had a special display in Room 5 of the exhibition.  We showcased 25 extraordinary artifacts from the River Thames.  Along with explanatory boards, the walls were covered in colourful images of mudlarking finds and scenic photos of the Thames.  In the centre of the room, four large display cases housed the incredible artifacts from prehistoric to modern times found by mudlarks.  Information about the future Thames Museum was also presented on the gallery walls.  The extraordinary exhibition revealed the history of London through items recovered from the Thames. 

 

Photo by Jason Sandy

Photo by Jason Sandy

NEWS & UPDATES

Photo by Jason Sandy

​​MUDLARK Exhibition at Art Hub Studios

As part of the annual Totally Thames Festival in London in September 2018, an exhibition of mudlarking finds was organised by Hannah Smiles and Florence Evans in partnership with the Thames Museum.   Displayed at the Art Hub Studios in London, the exhibition included mudlarking finds in glass display cases beautifully curated by Florence Evans.  Large photographs of mudlarking artifacts taken by professional photographer, Hannah Smiles, were hung on the gallery walls.  The week-long event included a series of talks by mudlarks including Nicola White, Nick Stevens, Jason Sandy and Ted Sandling (author of London in Fragments).  Live music was provided by students from the nearby Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance.  

Photo by Tracey Ernst

Photo by Hannah Smiles

Photo by Jason Sandy

Photo by Milo Robinson, Thames Festival Trust

Photo by Jason Sandy

Photo by Nick Stevens

Photo by Hannah Smiles

Photo by Nick Stevens

Photo by Jason Sandy

Photo by Hannah Smiles

As part of the Totally Thames Festival in September, the Thames Museum Trust organised three mudlarking exhibitions in collaboration with the Thames Festival Trust. Over 50 different mudlarks displayed their personal collections in three exhibitions in St Paul’s Cathedral, Cutler’s Hall and Chiswick Pier.  Many of the mudlarks were displaying their collections for the first time in public, so it was a unique opportunity to see their private collections assembled over many years.


The exhibitions were a great opportunity to tangibly experience ‘Hands on History’ and meet the mudlarks who found the objects. Thousands of historic artefacts were on display covering millions of years of British history including Celtic, Roman, Saxon, Viking, Medieval, Tudor, Stuart, Georgian, Victorian and Modern time periods. 

As part of the exhibition, professional photographer, Hannah Smiles, displayed large scale portraits of many mudlarks along the River Thames. We also organised guided mudlarking tours with the Thames Explorer Trust and historic river walks with the Emery Walker Trust and William Morris Society.  Click on this button to watch a short YouTube video about the exhibitions: