Huge thanks to Allan Murphy Thames Mudlarker, and Ted Sandling the author of ‘London in Fragments‘ for their lovely reviews of our new book, which are reproduced below:


This is the best book you will ever read on the archaeology of the River Thames foreshore. From the fishful Thames at Surrey Docks to ship-breaking in Rotherhithe’s liquid history, this book truly represents the recorded history of the River Thames.”

I’ve always admired the Thames Discovery Programme, a project that has trained nearly 700 people in recording the Thames foreshore. Where I approach the river with whimsy, they are serious about the city’s riparian past, and they are my first suggestion when people ask who might take them mudlarking. Now Nathalie Cohen and Eliott Wragg, two of the archaeologists behind @thamesdiscovery, have published their own River’s Tale. It’s an impressive look at the history of the River Thames and the people who used it, from Kipling’s earliest Cockney, who pushed through the forest that lined the Strand with paint on his face and a club in his hand, to the Blitz that split open the river wall next to the Houses of Parliament, setting free long-buried masonry from the Old Palace of Westminster.


They write touchingly on the drowning of landscape, of flood myths, and of the ancient forest, a triad of oak, alder and yew that is preserved in mud. Much is made of fishtraps, a reminder of the fecundity of the river, sixty years after the Natural History Museum declared it biologically dead. It’s cleaner now, of course – I once received an angry note from a man after I called it dirty in a piece in the Big Issue – but to imagine the weight of catch in giant Anglo-Saxon traps (there’s an illustration of a trap dwarfing the people around it) is to place yourself beside a different river entirely. The River’s Tale does that, throughout history and for many different purposes, it takes the River Thames we have now, and the treasures of its tidal foreshore, and it brings back the many Londons the river passed through.”

Have you got your copy of The River’s Tale yet? If not, you can order one HERE from the MOLA website.