The Four Horsemen

A week or so ago, fellow FROG John, of the Greenwich FROG, tweeted me this tweet with a word of concern about the foreshore archaeology.

The photo shows the installation on the Vauxhall foreshore of a set of four sculptures by Jason deCaires Taylor called The Rising Tide, commissioned as part of the Totally Thames festival.

“The first London commission of world-renowned underwater sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor, The Rising Tide, is concealed and revealed by the daily ebb and flow of the tide on the Vauxhall foreshore. These four proud horses and their riders highlight the role of the Thames as the lifeblood of London, shaping the city’s great history as an  ever evolving centre for culture, industry and commerce.”*

The sculptures had clearly been brought to Vauxhall by barge, and John was concerned about possible damage to features that we’re recording.

I thought that in the image it looked like the barge was actually settled on what is left of the bargebed, so I wasn’t unduly worried but I thought that I’d pop down at some point to have a look.


The sculpture is sited just shy of an area of significant mud immediately downstream of Lack’s Dock. There was a bit of mud and the attendants were at pains to advise me to be cautious on the foreshore. Not really so necessary in this case, but it’s important for them to be giving out safety info for people who, perhaps, don’t know this bit of foreshore.


The sculpture is pretty striking but as well as having a little look at that, I wanted to get a look at the bargebed.


The surface did look like it had been scraped and there seemed to be more metalwork, bolts, brackets unidentifiable -bits-of-metal, higher up on the foreshore so it’s possible that the barge did dislodge some of the surface of the, already deteriorating bargebed.


Still, it was quite good to see people accessing this stretch of foreshore to see the installation.


This isn’t the easiest stretch of foreshore, due to the unpredictable mud, but still, it’s a nice stretch of river and there were quite a few people arriving to have a look.


The installation stays here until 30th September.



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