39 Facts About River Thames


Kenneth H Jackson proposed that the name of the Thames is not Indo-European, while Peter Kitson suggested that it is Indo-European but originated before the Britons and has a name indicating "muddiness" from a root *ta-, 'melt'.

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Indirect evidence for the antiquity of the name 'River Thames' is provided by a Roman potsherd found at Oxford, bearing the inscription Tamesubugus fecit.

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Lower River Thames in the Roman era was a shallow waterway winding through marshes.

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Major annual events include the Henley Royal Regatta and the Boat Race, while the River Thames has been used during two Summer Olympic Games: 1908 and 1948 (rowing and canoeing).

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Molesey faces Hampton, and in Greater London the River Thames passes Hampton Court Palace, Surbiton, Kingston upon River Thames, Teddington, Twickenham, Richmond, Syon House, Kew, Brentford, Chiswick, Barnes, Hammersmith, Fulham, Putney, Wandsworth, Battersea and Chelsea.

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Sediment cores up to 10 m deep collected by the British Geological Survey from the banks of the tidal River Thames contain geochemical information and fossils which provide a 10, 000-year record of sea-level change.

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River Thames itself provides two-thirds of London's drinking water while groundwater supplies about 40 percent of public water supplies in the total catchment area.

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The flood threat here comes from high tides and strong winds from the North Sea, and the River Thames Barrier was built in the 1980s to protect London from this risk.

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River Thames contains over 80 islands ranging from the large estuarial marshlands of the Isle of Sheppey and Canvey Island to small tree-covered islets like Rose Isle in Oxfordshire and Headpile Eyot in Berkshire.

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Until around 500, 000 years ago, the River Thames flowed on its existing course through what is Oxfordshire, before turning to the north-east through Hertfordshire and East Anglia and reaching the North Sea near present-day Ipswich.

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At this time, the River Thames' course did not continue to Doggerland but flowed southwards from the eastern Essex coast where it met the waters of the proto-Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta flowing from what are now the Netherlands and Belgium.

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River Thames contains both sea water and fresh water, thus providing support for seawater and freshwater fish.

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The River Thames is host to some invasive crustaceans, including the signal crayfish and the Chinese mitten crab.

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River Thames has played several roles in human history: as an economic resource, a maritime route, a boundary, a fresh water source, a source of food and more recently a leisure facility.

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Some of the earliest written references to the Thames occur in Julius Caesar's account of his second expedition to Britain in 54 BC, when the Thames presented a major obstacle and he encountered the Iron Age Belgic tribes the Catuvellauni and the Atrebates along the river.

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The confluence of the Thames and Cherwell was the site of early settlements and the River Cherwell marked the boundary between the Dobunni tribe to the west and the Catuvellauni tribe to the east.

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River Thames had many castles built, including those at Wallingford, Rochester, Windsor and most importantly the Tower of London.

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The River Thames provided the major route between the City of London and Westminster in the 16th and 17th centuries; the clannish guild of watermen ferried Londoners from landing to landing and tolerated no outside interference.

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The discharge of raw sewage into the River Thames was formerly only common in the City of London, making its tideway a harbour for many harmful bacteria.

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River Thames'storians have attributed Prince Albert's death in 1861 to typhoid that had spread in the river's dirty waters beside Windsor Castle.

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In 2010, the Thames won the largest environmental award in the world – the $350, 000 International Riverprize.

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River Thames is maintained for navigation by powered craft from the estuary as far as Lechlade in Gloucestershire and for very small craft to Cricklade.

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In 1974 the River Thames Conservancy became part of the new River Thames Water Authority.

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When Thames Water was privatised in 1990, its river management functions were transferred to the National Rivers Authority, in 1996 subsumed into the Environment Agency.

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In 2010, the Thames won the world's largest environmental award at the time, the $350, 000 International Riverprize, presented at the International Riversymposium in Perth, WA in recognition of the substantial and sustained restoration of the river by many hundreds of organisations and individuals since the 1950s.

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In 1965, upon the creation of Greater London, the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames incorporated the former 'Middlesex and Surrey' banks, Spelthorne moved from Middlesex to Surrey; and further changes in 1974 moved some of the boundaries away from the river.

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World's first underwater tunnel was Marc Brunel's River Thames Tunnel built in 1843 and now used to carry the East London Line.

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The Tower Subway was the first railway under the River Thames, which was followed by all the deep-level tube lines.

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River Thames is the historic heartland of rowing in the United Kingdom.

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Two rowing events on the River Thames are traditionally part of the wider English sporting calendar:.

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Unlike the "pleasure punting" common on the Cherwell in Oxford and the Cam in Cambridge, punting on the River Thames is competitive as well as recreational and uses narrower craft, typically based at the few skiff clubs.

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Since 1950, almost every year at Easter, long distance canoeists have been competing in what is known as the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race, which follows the course of the Kennet and Avon Canal, joins the River Thames at Reading and runs right up to a grand finish at Westminster Bridge.

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River Thames meander is a long-distance journey over all or part of the River Thames by running, swimming or using any of the above means.

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River Thames has been a subject for artists, great and minor, over the centuries.

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River Thames is mentioned in many works of literature including novels, diaries and poetry.

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The landscape and features of the River Thames as described by Jerome are virtually unchanged, and the book's enduring popularity has meant that it has never been out of print since it was first published.

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In Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, the serenity of the contemporary Thames is contrasted with the savagery of the Congo River, and with the wilderness of the Thames as it would have appeared to a Roman soldier posted to Britannia two thousand years before.

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Sweet River Thames line is taken from Edmund Spenser's Prothalamion which presents a more idyllic image:.

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Song 'Old Father River Thames' was recorded by Peter Dawson at Abbey Road Studios in 1933 and by Gracie Fields five years later.

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