I will publish here & update regularly a list of must-reads and good reads for all Thames lovers and occasional volunteer archaeologists that I have enjoyed reading myself.

About the Thames history:

 – Ackroyd, Peter,’ Thames: Sacred River’, Vintage, 2008

I consider this book as a case study for all Thames admirers and the ultimate book on the Thames. I used to carry it everywhere with me when first released. Acting like a biography of the river itself, Ackroyd explores the history of the river from prehistory to the modern days, from the source to the sea. You will find a lot of useful information & facts about  local spots for the Thames in London, so if you are monitoring certain areas of the Thames,  conduct some fieldwork or maybe just enjoy long walks along the Thames, this book is definitely for you. It will also surely give you the inspiration for trips along the Thames outside of London.

– Winn, Christopher, ‘I Never Knew That About the Thames River’, Ebury Press, 2010

From the same author of the bestsellers ‘I Never Knew That About England’ & ‘‘I Never Knew That About London’, this book is more like a miscellany of fun & fascinating facts about the river Thames, a trivia, not exactly to be read from beginning to end, but to be used like an A to Z guide to the river so to speak .It is a great gift idea for friends & family of all ages.

– Reed, Nicholas, ‘Frost Fairs on the Frozen Thames’,  Lilburne Press, 2002

Visiting the Museum of London shop a few years back, I came across this little budget book, it is a pleasant illustrated guide to serve as an introduction on the subject of the Frozen Thames & frost fairs. For further research on the subject, look for Helen Humphreys & Ian Currie books.

About the Thames archaeology:

– Hey, G., Morigi, A., Schreve, D., & White,M., ‘Thames through Time: the Archaeology of the Gravel Terraces of the Upper & Middle Thames, Early Prehistory to 1500 BC’, Oxford University School of Archaeology, 2011

I cannot recommend this book and its series Thames Through Time enough. It is a fantastic and very detailed review of the Thames Valley gravel terraces, describing environmental changes and past climate, wildlife and plants, with extended archaeology data, helping you understand how the populations live in the Mesolithic/ Neolithic and early Bronze Age periods. It is beautifully illustrated with archaeological data, maps and relevant finds  pictures.

 – Lambrick, G., with Robinson, M. & with contributions by Allen, T., ‘Thames through Time: the     Archaeology of the Gravel Terraces of the Upper & Middle Thames, Late Prehistory 1500 BC – AD 50 ‘, Oxford University School of Archaeology, 2008

This book is a detailed and illustrated account of all the archaeological data resulting from local digs in the Thames Valley for the Late Prehistory Period. Once again, the authors examine change in human society while providing a very detailed account of local excavations, the population’s settlements and the geological profile of the Thames Valley. It also provides you with all the information required to understand the geology of the Upper & Middle Thames, past wildlife and plants.

 – Booth, P., Dodd, A., Smith, A., & Robinson, M., ‘Thames through Time: the Archaeology of the Gravel Terraces of the Upper & Middle Thames, the Early Historical Period: AD 1 – 1000’, Oxford University School of Archaeology, 2007

About the Thames Path & Walks :

– Sharp, D., & Gowers,T., Thames Path in the Country, Official National Trail Guide, Aurum Press

I strongly recommend this official trail guide to anyone, for ideas of walks from the Thames source to Hampton Court using the national Thames Path. Walks are about 8 to 12 miles on average, the route descriptions are very detailed and clear, and if you are not a serial walker like me, you can always stop half-way and plan your day out differently. it includes maps and is illustrated with pictures. A must-have.

About London specific areas:

– Rule, Fiona, ‘London Docklands, A History of the Lost Quarter’, Ian Allan Reprint Edition, 2012

A great read for all Londoners and the result of extensive research, the author shares her passion of the Thames and her story-telling of London Docklands is fascinating, readers will get a detailed insight into London Docklands through times. I’d also recommend this book for those particularly interested in Rotherhithe & Berdmonsey Thames foreshore.

– Brandon, D., & Brooke, A., ‘Bankside: London’s Original District of Sin’, Amberley Publishing Reprint Edition, 2013

If you are familiar with Southwark & taking regular walks on the Thames foreshore in the City at Bankside, I really recommend this book. It is a colourful tale about local Bankside, with thematic chapters describing the sins & life of Londoners on what was considered to be the wrong side of town, a place for infamous entertainment & forbidden leisures.  It will give you a great insight about the industrial activity around Bankside through times, and step back in time when Southwark was a district of sin with its small alleys, inns, theatres, brothels, bull & bear-baiting arenas & gardens. 

– Milne, Gustav, ‘The Port of Medieval London’, The History Press, 2003

A must read from the project director of the Thames Discovery Programme on the medieval port of London & professional archaeologist Gustav Milne. Especially recommended if you are part of the Foreshore Recording and Observation Group or an archaeologist, it provides valuable information on the London waterfront past excavations and history of the Port of London in the medieval period. Anyone interested in monitoring or participating in fieldwork within the City of London foreshore should read this book prior to visits, I cannot recommend it enough.


About Artefacts & Finds:

–  Oakeshott, Ewart, ‘The Archaeology of Weapons: Arms & Armour from Prehistory to the Age of Chivalry’, Boydell Press, 2008

A very detailed book retracing the development of European Arms & Swords by my favourite author  E. Oakeshott, focusing on the Prehistoric Period, the Heroic Age, the Vikings & the Age of Chivalry. Oakeshott lists & describes a few weapons found in the Thames in his study, so definitely worth a read if you are into blades & swords and keen on learning more about such dream finds.

– Cowgill, J., De Neergard, M., & Griffiths, N., ‘Knives and Scabbards’, Boydell Press, 2013

If you enjoy re-enactment research or looking at rusty metal things scattered along the Thames foreshore, other possible blades or knife handles, this is sufficient material to be used as a handbook or reference catalogue with illustrations.  It is a study based on local City of London finds and provides useful information on decoration, types of blades, inscriptions, everything you need to sound like an expert on blades.

– Shepherd, J., & Wardle, A., ‘Glass Workers of Roman London’, Museum of London Archaeology Service, 2009

A great little guide on the history of glass production in roman London, with pictures



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