Raw Materials is an ongoing research project led by the Nunnery Gallery at Bow Arts. We are exploring the industrial heritage of the River Lea through a series of materials. We began with wood and we are now looking at textiles.

Explore this website to find out more about our industrial history. You can read about the stories behind the objects we have found in archives and follow their location along the River Lea using our map.

Raw Materials is made possible with the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. Our partners for Raw Materials: Textiles are The Drapers’ Company, London College of Fashion (LCF), The Jewish Museum London, The Victoria & Albert Museum, William Morris Gallery, and local archives from Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Haringey, Newham and Tower Hamlets.

Read more about Nunnery Gallery

View the exhibition brochure

Latest post

Clothworkers’ Study Centre Visit, 7th November 2017 by Jill Napier, steering group member of Raw Materials: Textiles

Tucked away near Olympia in West London, Blythe House is a 100 year old ex- GPO Sorting Office which currently acts as a store for the reserve collections of the British Museum and the V&A.  A palatial Baroque building of red brick and stone, it is surrounded by high railings.  Security is tight, not surprisingly. To get inside, you need both a fixed appointment and ID.  Once inside, the interior is cavernous and lavishly tiled from floor to ceiling. A wide stair surrounded by ornate iron bannisters takes you to the upper floors.

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