Monday, 11 May 2009

Low tide at Customs House Stairs

Given its central place in the city's history, it's unsurprising that the River Thames should be full of archaeological interest. However, as a tidal river it is in constant movement, making the recording of its sites an important and pressing matter. The Thames Discovery Programme is undertaking a major project to do just that, building upon the work of previous surveys. I joined them for a low tide walk along the foreshore below Customs House - on what turned out to be an unusually muddy morning!

The foreshore here has especially generous quantities of shells - it's right next to Old Billingsgate Market - as well as bones.

On a larger scale, various wooden structures remain along the shore and under the buildings.

Chalk was used to make beds for barges to sit upon.

This small section of the foreshore extends over three parishes, as indicated by markers on the river wall.

If the thought of a visit to the foreshore appeals (and I'm assured that it's usually a lot less muddy) then check here for further events.


Adam said...

Very interesting and some lovely photos, but I'm at a loss to understand why it would ever be less muddy!

CarolineLD said...

Usually the tide seem to carry most of the silt away as it goes out - the foreshore is usually like a beach in places - but apparently the silt sits around after the Thames Barrier has been closed. Perhaps the missed tide gives it gives it time to settle?

Tio Noi said...

It's true,about the mud,that is,yes,when I was unemployed,long ago in the early seventies I used to go for long rambles on the Thames bed near Putney.The ground was never muddy and I found plenty of flint artefacts as well as the usual pieces of clay pipe and pottery shards.