The relics of the past constantly wash up on the shoreline of the River Thames, and now there’s a display all about them at Southwark Cathedral.
The objects all come from “Larking”, the art of looking for the little treasures that are all around us, on beaches (beachlarking), in fields (fieldlarking), at home (houselarking and gardenlarking) and of course mudlarking in rivers, especially on the Thames.
The exhibition has been timed to mark the release of A Field Guide to Larking by Lara Maiklem, and is made up of objects from Lara’s own collection and treasures borrowed from other larkers.
The display includes commonly found Thames objects – nails, pottery and buttons, – alongside more rare and unique objects, such as an Iron Age pot, a Roman scabbard chape and medieval Pilgrim badges.
Pride of place has to be the bearded man jug, of which intact examples are rare, and mudlarkers usually find fragments.
Modern history is also here, with more recent religious offerings that were only donated to the gods a few years ago. Presumably, their removal hasn’t angered the God they were offered to.
It’s a three case display, with a lot of explanation cards to tell the history of the objects recovered from the river, and gives a pleasingly random range of London’s history.
The exhibition, Larking: The Thames and Beyond is at Southwark Cathedral until 30th October and entry is via the cafe courtyard on the north side of the Cathedral opposite the River Thames.
Copies of A Field Guide to Larking signed by Lara will be available to purchase from the Cathedral Shop or copies can be bought from here.