Winnie the Pooh sails the Thames The River Thames
From Source to Sea


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Wallingford is a small market town on the banks of the River Thames about 50 miles to the west of London. The town is on the London to Wales road and was once the site of a ford across the Thames. Its name means 'Welsh people's ford'.

In the days before bridges, this ford offered the most convenient crossing of the Thames above London. The first recorded bridge here dates from 1141.

Looking downstream
Looking upstream

Did you know? ....
Upstream means looking towards the source of the river.
Downstream is looking in the direction the river is flowing in

Wallingford was important historically because of its excellent ford, and today the same crossing place has one of the finest bridges on the Thames. At 300m long it is only 5m shorter than the old London Bridge.

Wallingford Bridge

Click here to see the bridge in 1793

King Alfred, the Saxon king of Wessex, founded Wallingford in the 10th century and the town was granted a Royal Charter by Henry II in 1155.

The Town Hall, built in 1670
St Peter's Church
with its candle snuffer steeple

In 1066, fresh from winning the Battle of Hastings, the Norman invader William the Conqueror came to Wallingford seeking a suitable place to cross the Thames with his army. He ordered a grand castle to be built here, which was used as a royal residence until the time of the Black Death. The Castle was demolished by the order of Oliver Cromwell in 1646 after a 65 day siege; however the castle grounds remain.

After leaving Wallingford the Thames flows due south.

Start of Voyage down the Thames Contents Page Introduction
Facts about the Thames Flooding Thames Basin
Pollution Erosion Tributaries
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©Copyright Mandy Barrow 2013

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I teach computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.