At low tide, the Thames foreshore is a slimy bazaar of London history. Objects cast into the Thames have a habit of sticking around, sometimes for centuries. Pay attention, and you can read the story of the city in the shingle and jetsam.
We took a tour of the Rotherhithe foreshore with the Thames Discovery Programme, an organisation devoted to the archaeological exploration of the river. Within minutes we were finding Georgian clay pipes, identifying Blitz rubble and even finding evidence of prehistoric Londoners. Click through the gallery above to learn some of the secrets of the foreshore.
If you’d like to explore this fascinating world for yourself, we’d highly recommend one of the Thames Discovery Programme’s guided foreshore walks. The next takes place on 15 May on the shore in front of Cannon Street. A number of lectures are also planned, including a talk on Roman hairpins on 13 May. Or take things further and train up as member of the Foreshore Recording & Observation Group (FROG), whose 400+ volunteers regularly survey the vast archaeological site that is the Thames.