Lara Maiklem: Lost and Found on the River Thames

The Rose Playhouse

(Photo credit: Leanne Bracey)

An online talk by the bestselling author and mudlark beginning at 7 pm

The original mudlarks were mostly children and old people, the poorest of the poor who scavenged for survival in the foul-smelling mud of the Thames. These days, modern mudlarks are best described as amateur archaeologists, seekers of the past, and Lara Maiklem is one of the best known among them. What began 20 years ago as a means of escape from the chaos of the city has become an obsessive search for hidden history and the objects that forgotten Londoners lost or threw away. Everything has a tale to tell and as she says, ‘It is often the tiniest objects that tell the greatest stories’.

This talk will focus on the Thames at Bankside and the objects she has found dating from the 16th and early 17th centuries.



Lara has been mudlarking for almost 20 years and is licensed to mudlark by the Port of London Authority. Without the help of a metal detector or even a trowel, she collects only what the river leaves behind at low tide. Over the years she has found thousands of objects, ranging from the everyday and mundane to the downright weird. Her collection includes Roman hairpins, medieval pilgrim badges, Tudor shoes, clay pipes, dress pins, 17th-century toys and even a Bronze Age bowl. In 2012 she started posting her finds on Facebook as @LondonMudlark and her social media pages now have over 180k followers. In 2019 she published her first book, Mudlarking: Lost and Found on the River Thames (Bloomsbury), which was read as a Book of the Week on Radio 4 and became a Sunday Times Bestseller. In 2020 it won the Independent Booksellers’ Indie Book Award for non-fiction.

Lara has made numerous radio and television appearances, including on the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, the Travel Channel and the Smithsonian Channel. She has written a series on mudlarking for BBC Radio 3 and has written for a number of national newspapers and magazines. In 2019 she did a TED Talk and she regularly talks on mudlarking at private events and festivals. Her next book is due out later this year. 

Tickets are £5 and can be booked through TryBooking by clicking here. You will receive a link to this Zoom event via email. Any additional contributions for The Rose Playhouse will be much appreciated and go towards funding the Rose Revealed Project.

Please note that booking for this event will close at 6.00 pm on 2 March.

The Rose is an indoor archaeological site; it is advisable to dress warmly because there is no heating. There are no toilets, so please use those at Shakespeare’s Globe, which is 200 metres away.

Booking Information

Box Office

020 7261 9565