A Panorama Of Social Change Along The River Thames

See how Samuel Leigh's 1829 Panorama compares to present day

Panorama of the Thames from 1829 and present day

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The dramatic social, architectural and industrial changes along the river over the last 200 years is the theme of a presentation on Tuesday 26 April at the Chiswick Pier House.

The pictorial “voyage” through the centuries, will be given by Jill Sanders and John Inglis,who will be contrasting Samuel Leigh’s 1829 panorama with the contemporary Thames Panorama Project’s video of the present day river.

Jill’s presentation will explore the transformation of the London Thames from a largely working river of factories, wharves, fishing, osier growing, market gardening and transportation - and some fine houses - to the riverbanks and waterway we see today with a particular focus on West London.

Leigh’s 60ft panorama shows a detailed depiction of 15 miles of the River Thames through London - from Richmond to Westminster. It had fallen into obscurity, until it was rediscovered and brought back to life as part of the Panorama of the Thames project. After almost 200 years this rare artwork showing both banks of the Thames has been faithfully recorded and digitally restored - and republished as a modern book, A Riverside View of Georgian London (Thames and Hudson).

It shows every building along the 1829 riverside between Richmond and Westminster Bridge, and a view of the old industrial Southbank on the day of the Lord Mayor’s Procession. This rich visual experience is enhanced by sumptuous detail contributed by local historians. And as part of the project, the panorama is publicly accessible on a special website alongside contemporary photographic panoramas, showing the huge changes over time to the architecture and character to the Thames through London.

The presentation will reveal how industrial tall chimneys have disappeared, while church towers and spires are now dwarfed by London’s new skyscrapers. Factories, wharves and steps have been developed into luxury residential tower blocks.

The project online explores the Thames across several centuries with panoramas dating back to C16th London, all of them with insights into the buildings of the day. The contemporary linear panoramas are a celebration of the River, with the Thames at its best on sunlit days and (wherever possible) at low tide to show the foreshore.

Doors open at 7pm and the illustrated talk will start at 7.30pm. Tickets are £3, or free to members of the Chiswick Pier Trust. Refreshments and signed copies of the book will be available to purchase.

For further information on the Pier and how to get there, contact the Chiswick Pier Trust on 020 8742 2713, and you can also follow them on Twitter .

March 11, 2016

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