River Thames from source to sea

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Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright February 2013, John M; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
Images also under a similar Creative Commons Licence.


Brief Introduction

The River Thames is the second longest river in Great Britain flowing for 215 miles (346km) from Thames Head near Cirencester(Glos) to the Thames Estuary. It has a fall of 361ft (110m) from source to sea. There are over 200 crossings over or under the river starting with a stone culvert under the Fosse Way near Thames Head to the modern QE2 Bridge at Dartford.

This collaboratively produced article will follow the river downstream with images of the river and bridges in each OS grid square.

Thames Head to Ashton Keynes


ST9899

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

The plaque on a stone marking the source of the River Thames reads: 'The Conservators of the River Thames 1857 - 1974 This stone was placed here to mark the source of the River Thames'
The wet autumn and winter 2012-2013 allow the river to be followed from its source at Trewsbury Mead.

Until 1974 this was marked by a statue of Father Thames now moved to Lechlade.
ST9899 : Father Thames, at Thames Head by Richard Green



ST9899 : Inscription on a plaque marking the source of the Thames by Philip Halling ST9899 : Thames Head marker stone by John M ST9899 : Official Source Of River Thames by Jeremy Newcombe ST9899 : River Thames - near Thames Head by John M ST9899 : River Thames near Thames Head by John M
ST9899 : River Thames near Thames Head by John M ST9899 : The only dam on the River Thames? by John M ST9899 : River Thames by John M ST9899 : River Thames by John M ST9899 : River Thames and Thames Path by John M
ST9899 : River Thames upstream of the Fosse Way by John M ST9899 : River Thames pool outlet upstream of Fosse Way by John M

ST9898

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

Downstream of the Fosse Way the river course takes shape and the channel may be seen during drier periods. The 'summer source' provides a more reliable starting point for the river.


ST9898 : River Thames - Fosse Way Culvert by John M ST9898 : River Thames - Outflow from culvert under the Fosse Way by John M ST9898 : River Thames - looking upstream towards the Fosse Way by John M ST9898 : River Thames - Discernible flow by John M ST9898 : River Thames - exceptional winter flow by John M
ST9898 : River Thames - yes, it's there somewhere by Row17 ST9898 : Bluff on the dry River Thames bed by Ruth Sharville ST9898 : Labouring Thames in late spring by Reiner Tegtmeyer ST9898 : Wall marking the "Summer Source" of  the River Thames by Ruth Sharville ST9898 : The Infant River Thames close to its "Summer" source by Ruth Sharville
ST9898 : Ford across the infant River Thames, near Kemble by Ruth Sharville

ST9998 , ST9997

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

The infant river flows under the A429 near Kemble and heads off in a southeasterly direction under Parker's Bridge near Ewen.



SJ9284 : Poynton Brook by John Topping ST9998 : Ford on the River Thames by Philip Halling ST9997 : The young River Thames looking good after all this summer's rain by Ruth Sharville ST9997 : River Thames from the A429 bridge by Ruth Sharville ST9997 : River Thames, Kemble by Jaggery
ST9997 : The River Thames near Kemble by Steve Daniels ST9997 : Bridge over the River Thames by Philip Halling ST9997 : The River Thames looking downstream by Steve Daniels ST9997 : River Thames at Kemble by Philip Halling ST9997 : Juvenile Thames near Kemble by Rod Allday
ST9997 : The Thames upstream from Parker's Bridge by Steve Daniels ST9997 : Parker's Bridge over the Thames by Steve Daniels ST9997 : Road bridge over The Thames by Colin Madge ST9997 : River Thames at Ewen by Philip Halling ST9997 : Juvenile Thames at Mill Farm by Reiner Tegtmeyer

SU0097 , SU0196

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

The infant river flows east passing to the south of Ewen.

In very dry periods there may be no surface flow.



SU0097 : The Thames at Ewen, looking upstream by Peter Watkins SU0097 : Infant River Thames, Ewen by Jaggery SU0097 : The stripling Thames at Ewen by Steve Daniels SU0097 : The river has run dry by Row17 SU0097 : Ducks and horses in the River Thames by Philip Halling
SU0097 : The Thames Path Ewen by Peter Watkins SU0097 : Road to Ewen crosses the River Thames by Jaggery SU0097 : River Thames south of Ewen by Jaggery SU0097 : The Thames at Ewen by Philip Halling SU0097 : The Thames flows past Ewen by Steve Daniels
SU0097 : A yellow flag by the Thames by Steve Daniels SU0097 : The Thames and Thames Path at Ewen by Steve Daniels SU0097 : Reflections in the Thames by Philip Halling SU0097 : Peaceful Thames by Philip Halling SU0097 : Weir on the River Thames by Philip Halling

The Thames Path follows the mill race to Upper Mill Farm.

SU0196 : Thames Path by Shaun Ferguson SU0196 : River Thames at Upper Mill Farm by Philip Halling SU0196 : Bridge over the Thames by Philip Halling SU0196 : Footbridge at Upper Mill Farm by Philip Halling

SU0195 , SU0194

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

Kemble Mill near Somerford Keynes is the third mill from the source.
SU0195 : River Thames at Kemble Mill Somerford Keynes by Peter Watkins



The Cotswold Water Park comprises 40 square miles with marl lakes left by extraction of Jurassic period gravel. Extraction finished around 1970 and many of the lakes are nature reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

SU0194 : Thames Path by Shaun Ferguson SU0194 : River Thames or Isis at Neigh Bridge by Martin Elliott SU0194 : A very dry River Thames near Neigh Bridge by Martin Elliott SU0194 : River Thames or Isis at Neigh Bridge: Thames Path bridge by Martin Elliott
SU0194 : River Thames from Neigh Bridge by Sarah Charlesworth SU0194 : River Thames near Somerford Keynes by Philip Halling SU0194 : River Thames near Somerford Keynes by Nigel Cox SU0194 : Neigh Bridge Somerford Keynes by Peter Watkins

SU0294 , SU0394

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright


Passing by the former gravel pits between Somerford Keynes and Ashton Keynes the river leaves Gloucestershire and enters Wiltshire.



SU0294 : River Thames, south of Somerford Keynes (1 of 2) by Brian Robert Marshall SU0294 : River Thames, south of Somerford Keynes (2 of 2) by Brian Robert Marshall SU0294 : Mill Lake, Somerford Keynes by Philip Halling SU0294 : Somerford Lagoon, Lower Mill Estate by Philip Halling

Even here some distance from the source surface flows can disappear in dry weather.

SU0394 : River Thames in foreground perched above flooded gravel pit by Peter Watkins SU0394 : River Thames near Ashton Keynes by Philip Halling SU0394 : River Thames at Ashton Keynes by Philip Halling SU0394 : River Thames, west of Ashton Keynes by Brian Robert Marshall SU0394 : Reedmace head by a lake near Ashton Keynes by Brian Robert Marshall
SU0394 : A footbridge over the Thames near Ashton Keynes by Row17 SU0394 : River Thames by Shaun Ferguson SU0394 : White water, River Thames, west of Ashton Keynes by Brian Robert Marshall SU0394 : No water, River Thames west of Ashton Keynes by Brian Robert Marshall SU0394 : East along the River Thames west of Ashton Keynes by Brian Robert Marshall

KML

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