The Thames has been featured in many books including ‘Three Men in a Boat’, ‘Alice in Wonderland’, ‘The Wind in the Willows’, and Dickens, in whose novels the Thames is a dank, stinking sludge, the scene of murders and crime.
Interesting facts about the River Thames
- Length 346 km (215 miles)
- Source is about a mile north of the village of Kemble, near Cirencester.
- The area of floodplain is 896 km2.
- There are in all 47 locks,
- The Thames has been frozen over at various times, the earliest recorded occasion being AD 1150.
- There is a 23-ft (7-m) difference between low
and high tide at London Bridge.
- The Thames is navigable by barges is navigable for 306 km (191 miles) from Lechlade.
- The non-tidal part of the Thames from the source to Teddington stretches for 237 km (147 miles) and falls some 104.2 metres (342 feet).
- 75 bridges cross over the non-tidal Thames.
- 29 bridges cross over the tidal Thames
- The Thames is tidal from Teddington.
- From its source to the sea, it is estimated that the Thames carries some 300,000 tonnes of sediment a year.
- More than 100 fish species have been recorded in the Thames estuary over the past 30 years, many of these in the river within London.
- The country alongside the Thames is mostly rolling hills with farming and grazing being the main uses of the land until London when it becomes urbanised.
The speed of the flow of the Thames increases the further downstream you go (towards the sea). This is because of more and more tributaries join the river adding their water to it.
- Buscot 799 million litres/day (176 million gallons/day)
- Reading 3,594 million litres day (790 million gallons/day)
- Kingston 5,696 million litres/day (1,253 million gallons/day).
The width of the Thames also increases the further downstream you go.
- Lechlade 18 metres (60 feet) wide
- Oxford 76 metres (250 feet) wide
- Teddington 100 metres (325 feet) wide
- London Bridge 265 metres (870 feet)
- Woolwich 448 metres (1,470 feet)
- Gravesend 732 metres (2,400 feet)
- Nore Light, 10 km (6 mi);
- Estuary (between Shoeburyness and Sheerness) 8 km (5 miles)
Whitstable and Foulness Point, the estuary is 29 km (18 miles) across.
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