Royal Armouries, Tower of London: Foreshore Finds Volunteer
In all honesty, I ought to be at work. But I’m not
As a knock-on from taking part in VIP volunteering projects at the Museum of London’s archaeological archive, known as LAARC, I now get asked to take part in other volunteering projects; sometimes outreach, sometimes archiving. These are often discrete, time limited projects, which are ideal for me as long-term volunteering is not possible for me at the moment (I work full time ).
I was recently contacted about a project which I leapt at the chance to take part in, because it brings together aspects of the archiving work that I carried out at the LAARC as part of VIP09, and the foreshore recording work that I do as part of the Thames Discovery Programme. It’s also taking place at the Tower of London and, really, what could be cooler than that?
In 1986, the Royal Armouries, based primarily in Leeds but with a long-standing and continuing presence at the Tower of London, commissioned an archaeological dig on the Tower foreshore in order to try to find evidence of the Board of Ordnance’s workshops, which were sited on the embankment above. Finds’ dates range from the 15th to the 19th centuries. For those interested in following this up, the site code is TLF86.
(this image is a photo of a photocopy of a photo, so it’s a bit dodgy. Hopefully we should be able to get some clearer images later on). This photo, and others of the excavation, are courtesy of the Royal Armouries.
As a member of a small team of volunteers, I’ll be upgrading the archiving standards, photographing and cataloguing the finds from this dig. A longer term aim for the Armouries, is to improve access to the archive by establishing a new database for this material, so we’ll be preparing the material for that as well as gathering the relevant input data. In the team are Alan, Chris, and Guy (and me). Here’s the team, together with Glynn from the LAARC and Kathleen from the Royal Armouries.
Today we were at the LAARC getting some background on the project and the original dig, having a look at the paper records and having a general catch up. Next week we’ll be at the Tower and I’ll be blogging about the project over the next few weeks. I’ll try to post pictures of some of the best, most unusual and most revealing finds.
If anyone has any questions about the original dig or about this project, please do post them on here and I’ll try to answer them as we go along, or to find the best person to ask at the Armouries.