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An archeological walk for London Potters: Doulton and the Lambeth Potteries from Westminster Beach

September 17, 2023 @ 9:30 am - 12:00 pm

Free – £29.00

Doulton and the Lambeth Potteries from Westminster Beach

An archeological walk for London Potters


This specialist walk will take place on the north bank of the Thames at Westminster with a focus on the Lambeth potteries on the south bank and the works of Henry Doulton, a titan of industrial ceramics.  The Doulton works were key to cleaning up London after Great Stink of 1876 when the Thames was effectively a big sewer and outbreaks of cholera were frequent.  The Doulton works produced the salt-glazed drain pipes which enabled Bazalgette to construct the sewer system, some of which are still in use today.Doulton produced fine wares and decorative tiles alongside drainpipes.  Other topics will be explored in response to what is found on the beach.


The walk is hosted by award-winning arts organisation, Clayground Collective, known for its socially engaged practice, research into clay and hand skills’ development.  Their book Clay in Common, is recommended reading for students and artists wishing to extend their practice beyond the studio to engage the public and pass on skills. The company researches clay and ceramics wherever they are found, including on the Thames beach, described as the “biggest archaeological trench in the country”.


Over 12 years, Clayground has had the privilege of working closely with archaeologist, Mike Webber, exchanging knowledge about ceramic glazes, forms, rims and decoration, firing and ceramic history. Mike is one of the most distinguished archaeologists working in London today.  For 13 years, he worked at the Museum of London and then led the influential archaeological survey of the Tidal Thames 1995-2000 at a time when the river was largely ignored as a historical resource.  He is a generous and expert communicator.


Mike Webber and two of Clayground’s three Co-Directors, Duncan Hooson and Julia Rowntree, lead the walk. Duncan teaches Ceramic Design at Central Saint Martin’s where he is Reader in Socially Engaged Practice.  Julia is a researcher and writer and leads Clayground’s archaeological projects with Mike.

Walk participants will learn about:

  • London and the river, its significance in manufacturing and distribution of wares;
  • The growth of pottery works on the south bank;
  • Pollution and mitigation measures;
  • Link between Bazalgette and Doulton;
  • A significant period in the development of the capital’s infrastructure;
  • Evolution of the pottery industry from growth to decline;
  • Ceramic techniques and forms;
  • Design tradition and innovation;
  • where to learn more.


It is vital you turn up on time as the walk is timed to coincide with low tide to optimise time on the beach.  Please check neither Sunday engineering nor industrial action will disrupt your journey.

  • Please dress for the weather; it can be extra hot or extra cold on the beach.  Look at the forecast. We only cancel the walk if a storm with a name is predicted.
  • Walking boots with ankle support are best.
  • Bring your own water plus hand sanitiser and a carrier bag.
  • Plastic gloves are not recommended unless you have an open cut on your hands.
  • Please note the beach can be dangerous.  The walk is not suitable for anyone who lacks confidence using steps or walking on uneven ground
  • Dogs are not allowed.

The group walk is licenced by the Port of London Authority and public liability insurance covered by Clayground.


Please note that your contact information will be provided to Clayground.

Image: Courtesy Mike Webber.

[sherds = potsherds; shards = glass fragments].


Date: 17th September 2023



09:25am – 12:00pm

(participants may leave earlier once we are at the beach if they wish)

Venue: Pimlico Tube Station (Victoria Line)

Tate Britain exit at street level

Cost: £ 26 London Potters Members


£ 29 Non London Potters Members *

Booking Deadline: 3rd September 2023
# Attendees: Minimum 20
Cancellations: There will be no refund for member cancellations

However the walk may be cancelled due to a named storm. Ticket fees less online transaction fees will be refunded as a result of cancellation

Enquiries: Janet White

Telephone:  07841 495 839

Email: Events@Londonpotters.com

*London Potters members will be given exclusive opportunity to purchase tickets until 31st July 2023. From 1st August 2023, tickets will be made generally available to non-members to help us reach the minimum required for this event to take place.


September 17, 2023
9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Free – £29.00


Janet White


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