Lost & Found In The River Thames

The Lost Property Hotel is a newly built and stylish hotel near the River Thames, that celebrates the fascinating history of all things ‘lost and found’ in London. London is one of the oldest capital cities in the world and has provided over 2000 years of ideal opportunity for people to ‘lose’ some interesting stuff and a lot of those lost items have found their way into its famous river!

The next time you find yourself crossing the Thames, look down and you will find one of the most unusual and intriguing archaeological sites in the World. Regularly patrolled by “Mudlarks”, the wader-wearing treasure hunters of low tide, the entire history of Britain can be discovered in the mud. This London landmark has preserved many historical objects and treasures, ranging from woolly mammoth teeth, Roman lamps, lost bicycles and even 1980s mobile phones!

The River Thames is around 30 million years old and during much of that time would have been a meandering river surrounded by unspoilt woodland and wetlands. However the discovery of a tooth from the Megalodon shark from 1.5 million years ago, suggests a more wild past. This terrifying beast resembled a modern shark but was estimated to be 28m long! Thankfully Megalodon’s aren’t part of the marine life in the Thames anymore!

Pottery displayed at the River Thames

Lost history
and treasures

There have also been several Ice Age finds in the river that include Woolly Mammoth tusks and bones, and more recently a well preserved 30,000 year old Woolly Rhinoceros skull! And speaking of wild and dangerous creatures, back in 2013 the London Police received several calls from terrified people reporting an alligator in the river, which turned out to be a plastic prop from a James Bond film that had washed away from the set and ended up on the banks!

During the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, the River was likely often used to make offerings to the Gods and throwing metal objects into the river was a common practice to bring luck and fortune. In 1857, a beautiful decorative shield was found where Battersea Bridge currently stands, dating back to the Iron Age between 350 and 50 BC. It is thought to have been intentionally thrown into the river as an offering as opposed to lost in battle.

Discoveries through the ages

As you may know the city was an important outpost for the Romans known as Londinium for several hundred years. Many remains of Roman civilisation have also been discovered, dating back to the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and the establishment of Londinium in AD 43. In 1834 for example, the head of a large bronze statue depicting the emperor himself was found in the bed of the Thames, at the site of the old London Bridge.

Another fascinating object was found In 2010, by a group of mudlarks who came across an item that was later identified as an Anglo-Saxon sword by the Museum of London. Identified by its split socket, this ancient relic dated back to the 9th century pagan period and provided a rare glimpse into Dark Ages London, in what was even then, an important river for defence and trade.

Bronze head of emperor Hadrian, found in the Thames, London, British Museum

A piece of Roman history

Ever misplaced your keys? You’re not the only one as thousands of keys have been recovered from the mud and throughout London’s past countless people have lost theirs into the Thames. Not only keys, but even padlocks have been found in the mud, some of them dating back to the 18th century! Mediaeval dice too have also been found, which are often well decorated and some must have belonged to tricksters as many of them were made to land favourably on a particular side!

Clay pipes are a very common find in the Thames, with tobacco pipe smoking a very common practice a few hundred years ago. Often the clay pipes were ‘single use’ and therefore people would use them once and then throw the remains into the river. The age of a pipe can often be quickly told by the size of it, as the further back you go the more expensive tobacco was, meaning the older pipes were much smaller, and as tobacco became cheaper in Europe later, the larger the pipes became.

A claypipe found in the Thames

The keys to unlocking London's past

Discover Lost Property Hotel

Come and experience the fascinating history and culture of London and unearth some treasures for yourself, at the Lost Property Hotel. This new hotel near the River Thames and next to St. Paul’s Cathedral has been designed to offer a stylish escape from busy London streets, so that you can lose yourself in its intriguing walls. You’ll find impressive and unexpected interiors, bespoke artwork and sculptures, coupled with modern, stylish and luxury rooms for your stay.

The Lost Property Hotel is located just a short walk away from some of London’s most famous landmarks, such as the Tate Modern and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Due to its location, you’ll be near to spectacular views of the Thames and views of London.

Situated within the hotel, you will also find a beautiful restaurant, bar and coffee house, so that you can relax and enjoy an unforgettable experience. The freshest ingredients are found in London’s local markets and then used to craft tasty dishes and intriguing cocktails.

Book your visit today and discover one of London’s most unique hotels near the River Thames.