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Stinking Foreshore to Tree Lined Avenue: Investigating the Riverine Lives Impacted by the Construction of the Thames Embankments in Victorian London

Steyne, H; (2013) Stinking Foreshore to Tree Lined Avenue: Investigating the Riverine Lives Impacted by the Construction of the Thames Embankments in Victorian London. Papers from the Institute of Archaeology , 23 (1) , Article 13. 10.5334/pia.429. Green open access

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Abstract

Victorian London saw dramatic physical changes along the river Thames. Large enclosed Docks and Thames Embankments were constructed as the city struggled to cope with its ballooning population and prospering shipping industry. Whilst the Thames Embankments have been hailed as engineering triumphs, the fate of those whose livelihood relied on access to the river in central London (such as wharf workers, barge, ferry and lighter men, and others) is unknown. In order to investigate the impact of the Embankment, a methodology has been developed which enables characterisation of a large swathe of urban riverside throughout the mid- to late 19th century, whilst also ensuring that the stories of individuals and communities are not lost. The approach combines and adapts established methodologies, such as Historic Landscape/Seascape Characterisation and Maritime Cultural Landscapes, to understand the nature and changes in the urban riverside landscape. This methodology forms the background for detailed research on smaller sites, such as a single street, housing block, or industrial site, in order to create ‘Ethnographies of Place’. These small-scale ‘Ethnographies’ have the potential to tell stories about how the social and economic circumstances of individuals and communities changed as a result of the landscape changes associated with the Embankment construction. This paper presents the initial work to establish the methodology and preliminary conclusions based on key sources.

Type: Article
Title: Stinking Foreshore to Tree Lined Avenue: Investigating the Riverine Lives Impacted by the Construction of the Thames Embankments in Victorian London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.5334/pia.429
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/pia.429
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1469676
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