Thames River Facts

Thames River Facts
The River Thames is the longest river in England, flowing 215 miles from the Cotswolds to the North Sea. It is believed that the River Thames was named 'Tamesis' during the Roman occupation, a word that means 'dark water'. The official source of the River Thames is marked with a stone near Kemble. The land along the River Thames is mostly made up of rolling hills and farmland, until it reaches urbanized areas such as London. The width of the River Thames varies from 60 feet at Lechlade, to Whitstable and Foulness Point at 18 miles. The flow of the River Thames increases as it flows through England, picking up speed as tributaries add more water. The main tributaries are Buscot, Reading, and Kingston, which add approximately 2219 million gallons of water to the River Thames each day.
Interesting Thames River Facts:
The earliest recorded freezing of the River Thames occurred in AD1150.
The River Thames today is home to 47 locks, 75 non-tidal bridges, and 29 tidal bridges.
From Teddington on, the River Thames is a tidal river.
The tidal range is 23 feet at the Thames estuary.
It is estimated that the River Thames carries approximately 300,000 tonnes of sediment from its source to the North Sea.
In the last 30 years at least 119 different species of fish have been found living in the River Thames estuary.
The River Thames flows through several counties including Gloucestershire County, Wiltshire County, Oxfordshire County, Berkshire County, Buckinghamshire County, Surrey County, Essex County, and Kent County.
The River Thames flows through several cities and towns including Cricklade, Lechlade, Oxford, Abingdon, Wallingford, Reading, Henley-on-Thames, Marlow, Maidenhead, Windsor, Staines-upon-Thames, Walton-on-Thames, Kingston upon Thames, Teddington, London, Dartford, Gravesend, and Southend.
The first underwater tunnel crossing the River Thames was built in 1843. Today this tunnel is the East London Rail Line. Today there are at least 17 tunnels crossing the River Thames.
The River Thames was once used for disposing of raw sewage. It became too smelly in 1858 that its use had to be suspended.
Despite its stinky, polluted history, approximately two-thirds of the drinking water in London is sourced from the River Thames.
Waterloo Bridge is central London's longest bridge at 1250 feet.
From Kent to Oxfordshire along the River Thames there are more than 190 islands. Only 45 of the islands along the River Thames are inhabited.
During the Blitz in World War II the River Thames was used by pilots to help them navigate at night.
Seals can be found as far upstream on the River Thames as the Waterloo Bridge during their breeding and nursing seasons.
The River Thames tidal region is home to more than 60 shipping terminals.
The River Thames is popular among rowers with more than 200 rowing clubs in existence.
The River Thames has been featured in movies and books. Books that included the famous river include Alice in Wonderland, The Wind in the Willows, Three Men in a Boat, and in several of Charles Dickens' novels. It was featured in Indiana Jones and many other Hollywood feature films.


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