Sunday, 8 July 2012

Thames Mudlarking and Find of the Day

Friday, another grey and rainy day – but not bad enough to divert me from another much anticipated mudlarking trip. Left later than planned as had to rid myself of a fast emerging migraine. Still woozy with the after effects of the migraine tablets, almost skipped down the road to catch the 141, forgetting that travelling by road in the rain in London is always a bad idea – increasing journey time  by at least a third. The city was warm and damp. Lovely to see the river again, tearing out to sea. The foreshore was deserted, apart from a couple of workmen who had sneaked down for a surreptitious spliff – ‘mornings’ were exchanged – they then moved off perhaps imagining I wouldn't clock, leaving the unmistakable whiff trailing through the air.

Even the stones and rubble at the top of the shore were dark and shiny from the rain, making it easier to spot finds. This time I really tried to get my eye in for the coins and small metal objects, willing myself to spot something amid the occasional patches of sand or mud – to no avail. Gave up and returned to gently running my eyes over the pebbles looking for my usual finds.

I’m becoming so familiar with this stretch of foreshore, certain sections tend to throw up particular objects, there’s the large chunks of blue and white pottery patch, the medieval stretch  with large chunks of delftware, the clay pipe stem and old glass bottle section and the area with tiny bits of pottery.  

Half way through my jaunt it looked like a trip without a ‘find of the day’ – but of course when you start thinking that you come across one. Today’s was a plaque of  haymaking or a farmyard scene, probably English brown stoneware not sure of its date.
Brown Stoneware Plaque Depicting Hay Wagon Found Mudlarking on Thames 
Just about to leave and come across a pyramid of a horn sticking out of the sand – conscious of the complaints it would generate on arrival  home – I still pulled it from its muddy home. It's not curly enough to be from a sheep, perhaps it's from a cow?
Thames Mudlarking:  Horn
The rest is the usual mix of large pieces of delftware chargers which I can’t seem to resist picking up, delicate glass, probably too much blue and white, some nice examples of medieval or Tudor pottery and a piece of  shiny black glaze, a pipe bowl from 1640, plus a stone with a hole, which maybe something to do with fishing if my memory serves me right.
Thames Mudlarking Pottery Finds 
I couldn’t tempt my lovely friend Victoria down to the beach, so we met at the Tate for yummy lunch  and long time no see catch up. We did make it to the new Munch Exhibition – very uplifting with its mix of joyful colour and poignant images- definitely warrants another visit.
Snow Falling in the Lane Munch 1906 (friends of art)
As we emerged we were both taken aback by blue sky and rain fresh crisp light, rendering St Pauls crystal clear and shining white bright in the skyline – magnificent. As I walked over the Millennium bridge struck by the relaxed party atmosphere,  people mooching around enjoying a guy playing piano on the waterfront, others snapping those wonderful Thames views now with the Olympic rings hanging from tower bridge, my usual cynicism for large national sporting events suspended.


  1. Found your blog through Tania, wow great post! I had never heard of mud larking until I saw Tania's blog!

  2. So fascinating, what a perfect day you had.
    Found you through the blog of Tania, so glad she listed you as one of her favorites