River Thames Facts

Running through a large amount of the south of England, including London of course, the River Thames holds a place as one of the city’s most recognisable and distinguished areas. As bodies of water go, it is without doubt the most famous in London and it has a synonymous status with the city, built up over a period of many centuries. There have been numerous films, television programmes and other forms of media to have used the Thames as either a centrepiece or a background image and the site has many facts attached to it that some may not be instantly aware of.

Photo Credits:http://www.flickr.com/photos/ell-r-brown/4065272474/

England’s largest
While the River Severn is the longest in the United Kingdom, running through part of Wales on its route, the Thames is in second place in this particular list. The Thames’ route takes it across much of Southern England and it runs at a huge 215 miles (346 kilometres) long, 5 miles (8 kilometres) less than the Severn. In the category of rivers that run through England only it is comfortably the longest, ahead of the River Trent which is 185 miles (297 kilometres) in total. The counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Gloucestershire, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey and Wiltshire all have the Thames running through them.

Less glamorous origins
The Thames may be something of a sight to behold now, especially when illuminated under London’s lights, but it most definitely had an undesirable past. In times gone by, the river was used as a place for London’s waste to be disposed of but this was understandably something that became unbearable for the city’s inhabitants. The powers that be intervened in 1858 and the English civil engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette set about the task of planning the area’s sewage works, a vital measure and one that got rid of the cholera in London.

Icy affairs
A long time ago, the Thames would freeze during the extremely harsh conditions experienced in the winter on some occasions and this led to what were known as Frost Fairs taking place on the resulting ice. These occasions saw many people coming along and enjoying the festivities and this lasted from as far back as the 15th century until the final fair in 1814. This would never be seen in modern day London due to the flow of the Thames being too quick for the freezing of the water to take place.

Article written by Michael Deal on behalf of http://www.thamesexecutivecharters.com/ who provide private cruises and charters on the River Thames.

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