In the Footsteps of Henry Taunt

Many will be familiar with Henry Taunt’s photographs of the River Thames which are often reproduced in books about the river in the 19th century.

Now Graham Diprose and Jeff Robins, two photographers on the staff of the London College of Communications, have selected seventy of the Victorian pictures from the thousands taken by Gaunt and recorded the same view today.

The project had the support of English Heritage, Oxfordshire Studies, University of the Arts, the River and Rowing Museum and the Environment Agency.

The result can be seen in a fascinating book The River Thames Revisited and until 20 January there is an exhibition of the project at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley. Afterwards it will move to be at Reading Museum from 26 January to 26 April.

Henry Taunt (1852-1922) worked mainly in Oxfordshire and had a shop in Oxford. Graham Diprose and Jeff Robins were inspired by Taunt’s illustrated map of the river first published in the 1870s and reproduced in full in the book.

The ‘then and now’ pages show how London looked before tall buildings. It is a surprise to find that in many places the towpath and riverside gardens now has many more trees.

Graham Diprose is author of London’s Riverscape – Lost and Found.

The River Thames Revisited: In the Footsteps of Henry Taunt is published by Frances Lincoln Limited; £25.

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