Neckinger: Elusive River

Led by Andrew Clarke

Rising somewhere on the western edges of St George’s Fields and ending east of Borough, the Neckinger emerged from the marshy flatlands of Lambeth and trickled its way to the once notorious rookery of Jacob’s Island. Of all London’s lost rivers it is perhaps the most lost. No hint of its source remains, no ear to a drain gives a clue and its mouth was closed off long ago. Due to the bend in the Thames this area was increasingly included in maps of a growing city despite its lack of population. Often obscured by a beautifully engraved key, the south became London’s terra incognita. As late as 1838 it could be described as “a low swampy district occasionally overflowed by the River Thames whose osier beds, pollards and windmille and the river give it a Dutch effect”. Using John Rocque’s map of 1746 as a guide this walk will attempt to trace the Neckinger’s course, using clues along the route and
revealing some of the ways ancient topography and dead industries resonate on today’s surface.

Sunday 4th December 2.00pm.

Please bring pens, pencils and a notebook, as you will be encouraged to make your own map along the journey.

Meet beneath the guns outside the Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, SE1 6HZ.

Andrew Clarke is a visual artist living and creating in South-east London. His practice centres around play, chance and imposing order on chaos. Working in collage, cutouts, film and installation, he explores ways of animating the human form that both attract and disturb in equal measure. Since 2018 he has been hosting city night walks with his London Walking Group and this experience has informed his work both thematically and visually. He recently screened a trilogy of short, looped films linked by a nocturnal theme at Deptford X. He was also a founding member of the film event group, Cinetopia and the New Cross and Deptford Free Film Festival