Thames Landscape Strategy


The Amazing Arcadian Thames Camera Obscura

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Project Summary

The TLS created a modern re-creation of an Eighteenth-century Chinese tea tent with an integral camera obscura that can be used as an educational tool to increase understanding about the remarkable Arcadian landscape.   These ‘obscura tents’ were once a common feature along the Thames providing a magical way for everyone to interpret the environment around them.


This modern and portable interpretation of a Tea Tent that incorporates a camera obscura at its top – reflecting an image of the surrounding landscape downwards to a table at the centre of the tent.  


The portable camera obscura form the centrepiece of TLS educational activities to be used at organised educational days, special events and at fairs across the region.  

For more information, please click here:

Arcadian Thames Pagoda & Camera Obscura


An eighteenth century camera obscura


Eighteenth Century Arcadia and the Camera Obscura

These obscura tents quickly became a marvel of the Scientific Age, a tool for the most fashionable gentlemen of the day to show off their good taste and knowledge.

It is known that camera obscuras were a feature of Georgian Richmond – obscura tea tents being erected in the gardens of riverside villas to be used by the gentleman as a tool to interpret the landscape around them.  One C18th tea tent survives – the Duke of Buccleugh Chinese Tent, now kept at Boughton Hall in Northamptonshire.


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