Mudlarks Finds to go on Display

You might have read the recent article in the Guardian featuring artefacts recovered from the Thames foreshore – you can view them in 3D, and even (my favourite – see below) hear the sounds they made! Nick Stevens and Steve Brooker from Thames and Field are currently working to develop a new museum to introduce more people to the wonderful world of Thames archaeology. The Thames Museum is in the early stages of conception, and they are gathering support for the museum from the local government, industry and educational bodies. Nick and Steve are consulting with the Greater London Authority at City Hall, local councils and landowners regarding possible locations for the museum. Updates will be regularly added to their website, so watch this space…..

Animal Bell by Nick Stevens


This is known as a crotal bell, and would have been worn by livestock in the 18th-19th century. I have found bells before while metal detecting in fields, but they have always been heavily corroded. The Thames mud is anaerobic, which means there is no oxygen, and metal won’t rust in it. That’s why this bell is in such good condition. When I found it, it was full of mud, so I had to dislodge that to find out if the pip was still inside and it would ring. I was crouching down at the water’s edge, and I rang it and thought, wow. I am the first guy in 200, 300 years to hear that sound.”