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Totally Thames 2018

  • What's On -23-Aug-2018

10 Facts about the Thames

  1. The earliest settlers around the River Thames can be dated as far back as the Neolithic period, which is around 10,200BC. This was a key time in British history when humans transitioned from a hunter-gather way of life to a farming lifestyle. This period is also sometimes referred to as the New Stone Age.

  2. The River Thames is 215 miles (346km) long. It’s the longest river in England and second-longest river in the UK, after the River Severn. The Thames begins life in the Cotswolds and flows through seven counties before it meets the North Sea.

  3. The River Thames is both tidal and non-tidal, depending on the section you’re looking at. It turns tidal from Teddington through to the Thames Estuary. The tidal section causes a 7m difference between high and low tide at London Bridge.

  4. There are an estimated 125 species of fish living in the tidal section of the Thames, including the Pike. Each summer, a critically endangered species of European eel migrates up the Thames.

  5. There are over 200 bridges that cross the River Thames. The first was built by the Romans around 2,000 years ago near to where London Bridge stands now.

  6. The Great Stink came from the River Thames in 1858. The sewage had piled up so much in the river that the smell suspended Parliament. London’s first sewage system was built in 1865 to combat this smelly problem.

  7. Frost Fairs were held on the frozen surface of the River Thames from as early as 1607. Londoners set up tents both on and around the icy river for games such as ice bowling and activities including ice skating.

  8. At its deepest point, the Thames has a depth of 20m. The Thames is at its widest at the Estuary where it is 18 miles across.

  9. Apparently in 1252, King Henry III was gifted a polar bear from Norway. Although it was primarily kept in the Tower of London, it was occasionally let out to swim in the Thames and catch fish.

  10. Two-thirds of London’s drinking water comes from the Thames. That’s a very good reason for taking care of our river for many years to come!

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