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Discover the secrets of London's historic waterways at our new major exhibition - now open.
For centuries Londoners have existed beside a series of waterways, which have shaped the city and people within it. The history of this relationship and the art that it has inspired are the focus of our major exhibition, Secret Rivers.
Secret Rivers uses archaeological artefacts, art, photography and film to reveal stories of life by London’s rivers, streams, and brooks, exploring why many of them were lost over time.
Historic and contemporary artworks from artists, poets and authors will also show how London’s rivers have played an important role in the city’s imaginations. Previously unseen artefacts from excavations of the River Fleet and elsewhere hint at the diverse industrial, economic and religious roles these rivers have played over the centuries.
The intriguing histories of the River Effra, Fleet, Neckinger, Lea, Wandle, Tyburn, Walbrook and Westbourne will all feature in the exhibition. Each river will highlight a broader theme such as poverty, industry, development, effluence, manipulation, activism, sacred association and restoration.
With thanks to The Worshipful Company of Plumbers and The Worshipful Company of Water Conservators and The Water Conservation Trust for their support.
Discover our Secret Rivers events programme.
Teachers – want to bring your class to Secret Rivers? Find out everything you need to plan your school visit.
“Exhibition including skulls, weapons and toilet seats recovered from unseen waterways beneath Londoners’ feet gives new insight into city’s history”The Guardian
“We have to admit, we're pretty excited about new exhibition Secret Rivers, which explores London's little-known and lost waterways. Archaeological artefacts, art, photography and film are all used to tell the story of streams, rivers and brooks in the capital, many of which have been lost over time. ”Londonist
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