A Thames Lark aimed to amplify unheard voices from the past, unwrap hidden stories, and allow teams and individuals to explore an alternative history of the River Thames.

Linnea Maertens, the driving force behind the ‘zine team’, describes the creative process of making the zine that accompanied the self-guided walk:


Our next category was “Finds” which focused on archaeological digs or mudlarked discoveries as a point for discussion of deeper histories and complex discussions.

I researched and illustrated a page entitled “Queenhithe”, inspired by an article on the excavations carried out at Bull Wharf, City of London, which Claire drew my attention to. The original project uncovered the remains of the Saxon settlement at Aethelred’s Hithe (later Queenhithe). On the site a female skeleton was found which has been interpreted as a possible witch or cunning woman who was stoned to death and displayed on the foreshore. I used this deviant burial to discuss other links between rivers and violence against women, touching on medieval laws which threw women into water or off cliffs as punishment and ended with the last know case of a scold ducking off Kingston bridge in 1745. Since my page would be near the Queenhithe mosaic I created a background which referenced that and added black and white illustrations to highlight the topics discussed.


I also illustrated a page which we entitled “Apothecary Jars” which used foreshore finds like sugar mounds, clay pipes, and apothecary jars to discuss the connection between the Thames and the transatlantic slave trade. This topic was one of the suggestions of Malcolm Russell author of Mudlark’d who gave us several wonderful suggestions, some of which we used in this project and some we will have to do another project to explore further! Claire did the research for this page and on Malcolm’s suggestion we focused on the connection between London’s apothecaries and the slave trade. I created two collages for this page which used archived images as well as photos of artifacts from the Portable Antiquities Scheme. I combined common foreshore finds with botanical illustrations of common medicinal plants at the time as well as engravings of the Chelsea Physic Garden.

The last “finds” page was the Roman intaglio that inspired the TDP logo. This topic was suggested and researched by Will. The intaglio depicts four men rowing a galley with a swan or goose head at one end and what might be a raised sword at the other. The page looks at the possible link between the intaglio design and the Roman commander, Marcus Aurelius Mausaeus Carausius. Anja did the design and dramatically illustrated the twists and turns of Carausis’s rise to power and ultimate assassination.

The Larkers: Henry Kent, Linnea Maertens, Thalia Nitz, Agnes Ohrstrom Kann, Anja Schwegler, Finn Stileman.

Project lead: Claire Harris (TDP). Supported by: Will Rathouse (TDP).

This is the second of three blog posts about the zine. We’ve shared two further posts about Introductions and People over the next couple of weeks. We’re also looking at ways of sharing the completed zine, so do check back!