A month of Mudlarking

By Jason Sandy

mudlarking tours on thames foreshoreGuided foreshore tour along the River Thames (Facundo Arrizabalaga).

As part of the Totally Thames Festival 2023, there are a wide variety of mudlarking events planned  throughout the month of September. You can enjoy an exhilarating adventure through London and visit iconic venues where thousands of historic artifacts from the Thames will be on display.

Mudlarking exhibition in London Roman amphitheater

Mudlarking exhibition in the ancient Roman amphitheater (Jason Sandy).

The journey begins in Roman Londinium as you descend underground into an ancient amphitheater that is over 1,800 years old. Walk in the footsteps of the gladiators as you see Roman artifacts on display within the arena on September 2nd and 3rd.

Display of mudlarking finds in St. Paul’s Cathedral

Display of mudlarking finds in St. Paul’s Cathedral (Jason Sandy).

Experience the grandeur of architect Sir Christopher Wren’s most famous building, the iconic St. Paul’s Cathedral, which was built on the site of the former Norman cathedral that burned down during the Great Fire of London in 1666. On September 16th and 17th, mudlarks will be displaying artifacts relating to Medieval London and the Great Fire. In addition, Kirsti Scott will be displaying beachcombing finds from around the world and mudlarking articles from the magazine at the Beachcombing table in the cathedral. Learn more ›

Sculptures of mudlarking finds by artist Billie Bond

Sculptures of mudlarking finds by artist Billie Bond (Billie Bond).

Sail down the river on a Thames Clipper boat and get off in historic Greenwich where two mudlarking events await you. On September 23rd and 24th, mudlarks will be exhibiting their collections under the expansive, glass roof of the National Maritime Museum. In the neighboring Queen’s House, more than 20 artists and sculptors will be displaying their Thames-inspired artwork throughout the historic building.

Jayden Sandy showing his collection to visitors

Jayden Sandy showing his collection to visitors (Jason Sandy).

The adventure continues as you cross the river and head to the Museum of London Docklands. For the first time ever, the museum is hosting a series of events as part of their “Mudlarking Showcase” on September 30th and October 1st. Within the old Georgian warehouse that was once used to store goods from around the world, thousands of Thames-found artifacts will be on display. The objects reveal unique stories about the people who once lived and worked in London’s Docklands. You will also have the chance to explore the museum by following a family-friendly “Mudlarking Trail.” Throughout the day, artists and sculptors will be conducting arts and crafts workshops for kids and young adults in the main entrance foyer.

Display of Kristina Kapciukaite’s mudlarking collection

Display of Kristina Kapciukaite‘s collection (Jason Sandy).

In addition to the mudlarking exhibitions, there will be a series of informative and educational panel discussions and talks by mudlarks, artists and historians. Guided tours along the Thames foreshore will be led by the Thames Discovery Programme, Thames Explorer Trust, and veteran mudlark, Steve Brooker, from the TV show Mud Men. Entry to the mudlarking exhibitions is free and open to the public. The talks and walks are ticketed events.

Mudlarking on the Thames Foreshore requires a permit. Learn about rules for mudlarking in London ›

For more information about these fun mudlarking events for the whole family, visit thamesfestivaltrust.org/whats-on/.

Learn more about mudlarking


Learn more about the experiences of mudlarks, who search the shores of rivers, bays, and seas for historical finds and other objects. Articles ›

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