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

At Lechlade the tributaries Leach and Coln flow into the Thames making the river even deeper. The Thames is now 18 metres (60 feet) wide.


Click to see a map of this area.
Use the aerial photograph option on the map page.

The small Cotswold market town of Lechlade is situated at the southern borders of the Cotswolds where the Rivers Coln and Leach join the Thames. It is in the county of Gloucestershire.

The spire of the Church of St Lawrence is a landmark for miles around

The riverside at Lechlade was a busy wharf with boats being loaded with salt from Cheshire which had been carried down the 'Old Salt Way' by pack horse trains, and wool, stone and cheese from the Cotswolds for the markets in Oxford and London. In 1816 there were 14 barges at Lechlade of 65 tons each, very much bigger than anything that goes up and down the non-tidal river today.

The name Lechlade comes from a combination of the River Leach and 'lade', meaning to load.

The Thames Path follows the river
through Lechlade.
Pooh spotted some erosion. He wondered whether the boats had caused it.

The stone bridge at Lechlade is called Ha'penny (Halfpenny) because of the toll, a payment of one half penny,  that was once charged for crossing the bridge. The original toll keeper's house can be seen in the photograph below.

Leaving Lechlade behind the river Thames again passes through meadows. Pooh spotted a concrete pillbox, the first of a series built in 1940 along the route of the Thames to turn the river into a fortified line of defence against the projected German invasion.

For the next 28 miles (45 km) the river flows through peaceful, open countryside with kingfishers and waterfowl. This area of the river is prone to flooding in the winter.

Start of Voyage down the Thames Contents Page Introduction
Facts about the Thames Flooding Thames Basin
Pollution Erosion Tributaries


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