Yesterday, I saw Greenwich from a new angle - literally - with a guided walk along the Thames foreshore. In happy contrast to the muddier event at Custom House a few weeks ago, the 'beach' was silt-free!
Henry VIII's palace, Placentia, has left its traces on the edges of the Thames - there are even water-worn pieces of Tudor brick. More humble inhabitants have also left clues to their lives including pieces of clay pipe, pottery and glass. The area's industry, too, has altered the riverscape with barge beds, anchors, and 'rubbing posts' which protected moored ships and the river walls from overly-close contact as the boats moved with the tide.
Structures such as the river walls tell us about the Thames itself, too. Walls are raised as high tide level rises, for example. They are also rebuilt from time to time: this particular stretch shows four different periods of building. The algae-free white strip at the bottom indicates recent erosion of the foreshore.
However, I did remember to look outwards from time to time, and enjoy the views as far as Deptford.
The walk was one of a numer of events organised by the Thames Discovery Programme. Find out about future activities, as well as the archaeology of the foreshore, on their website.