This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Thank you for your interest in the Thames Discovery Programme (TDP) You may have been a FROG member since the beginning, met us recently at one of our events or found us online – however you got here, welcome, and we hope you enjoy our newsletter! In this issue you can find out more about the work of the FROG teams in Bermondsey, Vauxhall, Greenwich, Custom House, Bankside and in West London and about our forthcoming events. If you have any questions or would like to find out more about the Thames Discovery Programme, please get in touch: email@example.com
SAVE THE DATE—TOWER OF LONDON OPEN FORESHORE! 26-27 May 2012
Join the Thames Discovery Programme, Historic Royal Palaces, Thames21 and the City of London Archaeological Society to explore the foreshore at the Tower of London
FROG Training - Book Now!
Bookings are now open for training to become a member of the Foreshore Recording and Observation Group. Our new programme takes place over four days and includes health and safety training, lectures about Thames archaeology from the TDP team, foreshore fieldwork sessions on some iconic London beaches and guided walks to sites of archaeological and historical interest. All this for a cost of only £25.00 per day! The Thames Discovery Programme is now hosted by Museum of London Archaeology! Our contact details are: Mortimer Wheeler House, 46 Eagle Wharf Road, London N1 7ED, Telephone 02074102207. We’re rarely in the office so it may be easier to contact us via email in the first instance. Also, you can find us on Facebook and Twitter @ThamesDiscovery Summer session: Tuesday 19th – Friday 22nd June 2012 To book your place, please contact TDP Field Officer Eliott Wragg. Please note that attendance at all four days of the training is required to complete the course and become a member of the FROG team.
We look forward to seeing you on the foreshore!
Newsletter contributors: Helen Johnston (Greenwich), Peter Marchant (Custom House), Courtney Nimura (Bermondsey) and Solange La Rose (Vauxhall and Bankside). Edited by Nathalie Cohen
News from the Foreshore Recording and Observation Group
The Vauxhall Group may be small, but it’s perfectlyformed and plucky to boot. Vauxhall has been a rather challenging site in many ways. We’ve been making regular visits and been able to see first-hand the rapid changes going on at the site. In the western half of the zone, where the Bronze-Age structure is situated, significant erosion has made access a bit hair-raising at times, but it is also exposing peat deposits, new features and flint fragments. This has given the Vauxhall FROG a chance to improve our flint-flakespotting skills. In the eastern half of the site, erosion is exposing more of the underlying peat and a discrete concentration of fire-cracked flints. We also seem to have a couple of little new islands appearing along the site, which appear to be made of redeposited material. There’s everything to play for at Vauxhall, as the site is earmarked for significant disruption as part of Thames Water’s Tideway Tunnel project but the TDP, with support from English Heritage and SLAEC, are on the case! Photos by Roger Chapman
The Bankside Group has been visiting the site quite regularly over the past 6 months and is now getting to grips with the complexities of not only the site itself, but also the original survey, especially as the area has changed considerably over the past 15 or so years. We’re finding that, as the site is large and there are lots of structures and features, we’ve naturally divided it into thirds, rather than trying to do the whole lot in one go each time. We’re already noticing changes, with erosion resulting in the exposure of previously-covered peat levels, and the deterioration of the bottom of the main access route, Globe Stairs. There has also been some deposition with the growth of an enormous pile of pebbles and allsorts, now known as ‘The Beast’. There’s lots of ongoing FROGging to be doing at this site, although this is one that may be affected by the Jubilee/Olympics jamborees, so this summer could be a bit tricky. Photos by Solange La Rose We’ll keep posting photos and updates though.
At the Foreshore Forum in September 2011 our group presented work from the previous year. Peter’s segment Then and Now showed historical photographs of the waterfront and compared them with his own over the last 50 years. Jeanne presented the Foreshore in Context and explained our methodology for monitoring and recording, while Edna’s Foreshore Forays showed artefacts we’ve found from a Late Iron Age sherd to a discarded Russian revolver! Margaret finished the talk with History on the Street, taking us further from the site to relevant historical locations in the Bermondsey vicinity. Altogether we felt the conference was not only informative but a great opportunity to meet some new FROGs and touch base with those we hadn’t seen since in awhile. In November we visited the Brunel Museum and Tunnel entrance, which set the tone for our winter research schedule. We began 2012 with a presentation of historical maps of Bermondsey by our fellow FROG Alan Haigh. Our group has always been interested in connecting what is happening on the waterfront to the foreshore archaeology, and we have collected over 10 maps spanning from 1688 to the present day. Reconstructing the history of Chamber’s Wharf and the surrounds has shed light on a number of features. Some, such as Three Mariners stairs, now only exist on the historical maps. In March some FROGs attended the Thames Shipbuilding Symposium at the Museum of London in Docklands. Most recently we met at LAARC to attend a session led by FROG Courtney Nimura on our new monitoring system. We have spent the winter brainstorming about how we can make the Feature List user-friendlier for some of our members who feel uncomfortable with computers. We now have a plan to test this new system throughout the summer as well as record the features under Chamber’s Wharf in greater detail. With our tide tables and recording plans organised, the field season has officially begun!
From left to right: Edna Wolfson, Margaret Sparks, Jeanne Lewis, Peter Baistow, Courtney Nimura, Cathy Butler
West London FROG The group has been busy visiting key sites across West London, including Chiswick, Hammersmith, Brentford and Isleworth, where these photographs were taken in February 2012.
Photos by Paul Clabburn
Custom House FROG
More FROG News
Photos by Peter Marchant
We have made three monitoring visits to Custom House now since we started in late February 2012, and many thanks to Ruthy for being a founding member of the group with me. So far we have been getting familiar with the site, locating the items on the feature list, and taking some initial photographs. Nearly half the site is under a sheltered canopy with lower light, so on the last visit we tried to improve our photographs there. We are still getting used to the site and the equipment and we aim to complete an updated set of photographs of the features when we can. We also want to look for new and previously unrecorded features - we have been helping record an interesting feature previously located by FROG member Mark Jennings in the area - a livery company plaque from the Vintners Company (see left). The other photograph here shows another plaque the group found, recording Thames High Water.
It’s been an exciting few months in Greenwich. In February a small group of FROGs were the extras in a Russian TV news special about the foreshore. The production crew were genuinely interested in the archaeology, but it was a pretty grey and cold day, so hopefully they got some good shots. In March, three of us turned up for a monitoring visit on a particularly low tide. The top half of the site was covered in two inches of horrible, slippy mud, so only a handful of the features we normally monitor were visible. But what we found instead made up for it a hundred times over. The piles below the c12 jetty were mostly out of the water and there were several new features visible, including a large pile of natural and worked stones near one of the drains. But what was really exciting was a large area of peat that starts at the jetty and goes downriver as far as the Naval College steps. There was a lot of preserved wood in it, including several complete tree trunks and what looked to us like an in situ tree stump. There were also three, small, round posts in the peat, just visible at low water, lined up at a very suspicious angle. Is it a fishtrap? Are three posts enough to tell? Watch this space..... Photo by Ann Sydney
Photo by Nat Cohen