Southwark Cathedral presents Mudlarking and Heritage Crafts Festival 2024 (1)

Heritage Special Event
  • Venue

    Cathedral and Churchyard

  • Time

    9:00 AM

  • Price

    FREE - £5.00

  • Book Tickets

Join us at Southwark Cathedral for this day celebrating the River Thames and some of the crafts that helped build London

This year we are filling the Cathedral and the churchyard with history and tying together the crafts that were used to build London and make the objects that are found by mudlarks on the Thames foreshore.

Meet mudlarks and the craftspeople, watch demonstrations, handle ancient artefacts, talk to archaeologists, antiquarians and conservationists, listen to authors, get messy with clay and hands on with history!

This is a fantastic opportunity to learn about traditional crafts and ask the demonstrators questions.

Craft demonstrations include:

  • Blacksmithing and Coppersmithing with Urban Crafts Foundation
  • Beekeeping with Bee Urban
  • Bee Skep making with Nick Mengham from Mr Bumble Beekeeping
  • Dyeing, Weaving and Spinning with the London Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers
  • Medieval Pilgrim Badge making Lionheart Replicas
  • Illuminated Manuscripts with iconographer Hanna Ward
  • Decorative Gilding with the City & Guilds of London Art School
  • Stone and Wood carving with the City & Guilds of London Art School
  • Flint knapping with Jonathan Cope
  • Meet beautiful birds of prey with Raphael Historic Falconry


  • Get your finds identified by the experts from the Portable Antiquities Scheme (Friday only)
  • Meet the mudlarks and discover their amazing foreshore finds, including author Lara Maiklem
  • Chat to foreshore archaeologist Fiona Haughey
  • Discover the colourful history of Southwark Cathedral by chatting to one of our knowledgeable guides.
  • Meet conservation students from the City and Guilds of London Art School
  • In our monastic herb garden you can create pomanders, learn about how plants were used for medicine in the past, smell different herbs and make something to take away with staff from The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret.
  • Learn the ancient craft of knot tying with our friends from the Golden Hinde.
  • Sea Shanty performance by the London Sea Shanty Collective (2pm Saturday only)


The Living Thames Film Screening

Introduced by Sir David Attenborough, and presented by environmentalist Chris Baines, The Living Thames gives a voice to the many people with a hand in making the Thames Estuary the great river it is. Despite its sometimes chequered and difficult history, this film illustrates how the estuary and its environs have not only flourished but evolved and adapted, promising hope for the future.

Followed by a Q&A session with director/producer Dorothy Leiper, Water Conservator Rob Casey and Dr Fiona Haughey, the only archaeologist with a thesis on the Thames.

Friday: 3pm–4pm.

Saturday: 11am-12pm and 3pm-4pm


Further Information

Join us in the Cathedral nave and churchyard between 12pm - 7pm (last admission 6.30pm) on Friday 30 August and 9am - 5pm (last admission 4.30pm) on Saturday 31 August.

Tickets will also be available on the door.

A one-way route will be in place for this event and the entrance will be via the SW Churchyard adjacent to Borough Market and exit will be on the north side of the Cathedral opposite the River Thames.