"River Thames" Greater London Things to Do Tip by leafmcgowan

Greater London Things to Do: 184 reviews and 357 photos


A prime waterway in southern England that runs 346 km through London, Oxford, Reading, and Windsor. Its best known with lots of mythology especially as it flows through central London. The River Thames was the major waterway highway between London and Westminster in the 16th/17th centuries. It has frozen over many times in the past - as early as AD 250 when it was frozen for 9 weeks. Then again in AD 923, 998, 1061, 1149 - 1150, 1204 - 1205, 1269 - 1270, 1281 - 1282, 1309 - 1310, 1407 - 1408, 1409 - 1410, 1434 - 1435, early 1506, 1513 - 1514, 1516 - 1517, and 1536 - 1537 - over 23 documented winters in which it froze over. After 1814 with warming temperatures, the river never frozen over completely again. The London Bridge may have contributed as it allowed the river to flow more freely and stopped it from slowing down enough to freeze. BZy 1858 the pollution in the river reached such great proportions that sittings at the House of Commons at Westminster had to be abandoned due to the stench - and this period was called "The Great Stink". In the late 19th centure a massive clean-up took place and life returned to the dead waters in the mid 20th century. The river's name is derived from the Celtic Temese and Tamesis or Tamesa - meaning "Dark one".
Between Southwark Bridge and Cannon Street railway bridge was a collison between a dredger and the Marchioness (a passenger vessel) on Aug. 20, 1989 resulting in the death of 51 people - it was the worst Thames disaster of the 20th century.

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  • Written Apr 23, 2007
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