Thames

Thames

[temz for 1, 2; theymz, teymz, temz for 3]
Thames, river, c.160 mi (260 km) long, rising NW of Woodstock, S Ont., Canada, and flowing SW past London and Chatham to Lake St. Clair. It is navigable to Chatham, near which was fought (1813) the battle of the Thames (see Thames, battle of the) in the War of 1812.
Thames, Rom. Tamesis, principal river of England, c.210 mi (340 km) long. It rises in four headstreams (the Thames or Isis, Churn, Coln, and Leach) in the Cotswold Hills, E Gloucestershire, and flows generally eastward across S England and through London to the North Sea at The Nore. In its upper course—around and above Oxford—it is often called Isis. The Thames drains c.5,250 sq mi (13,600 sq km); its tributaries include the Windrush, Cherwell, Thame, Kennet, Wey, Mole, Lea, Roding, and Medway. It is joined by canals (including the Oxford, Thames and Severn, and Grand Junction) that cover a wide area. The river is navigable by barges to Lechlade, below which there are a number of locks. The Thames is tidal to Teddington; there is a 23-ft (7-m) difference between low and high tide at London Bridge. The part of the stream near London Bridge is known as the Pool. The main part of the port of London stretches from London Bridge to Blackwall. The Thames Conservancy Board was established in 1857; the docks and the tidal part of the river below Teddington have been administered by the Port of London Authority since 1908. Part of the river is of great beauty, is much used for boating, and is still popular for fishing. The upper valley of the Thames is a broad, flat basin of alluvial clay soil, through which the river winds and turns constantly in all directions. At Goring Gap the valley narrows, separating the Chiltern Hills from the Berkshire Downs. The lower valley forms a second broad basin through which the Thames also meanders. The land around the river was formerly marshy, and the ancient roads were far from the river banks. In the Middle Ages the valley was very prosperous, with many religious houses and several large towns, including Reading and Windsor. Between Oxford and London, the valley is predominantly agricultural, with scattered villages; Reading is the only industrial town there. The Greater London conurbation along the river's lower course is one of the most important industrial regions of Great Britain. Among the many interesting archaeological discoveries made in the valley are fossils of seashells and a human skull from the Paleolithic period. In London the river is crossed by 27 bridges, including the new London Bridge, Westminster Bridge, Waterloo Bridge, and Tower Bridge. There are two main tunnels under the river in London, and one between Dartford and Purfleet, as well as several footpaths and 5 railroad tunnels. In 1963 governmental efforts began to combat pollution of the waters through a series of rules and regulations. At parts along the river downstream flood barriers were constructed, which became operational in 1982, to prevent London from damage by North Sea gales.

See study by J. Schneer (2005).

Thames, river, c.15 mi (25 km) long, formed by the confluence of the Yantic and Shetucket rivers at Norwich, E Conn., and flowing south to Long Island Sound at New London. Primarily a tidal estuary, it is New London's harbor and the site of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and a U.S. navy submarine base. Since 1878 it has been the scene of Yale-Harvard rowing contests.
Thames, battle of the, engagement fought on the Thames River near Chatham, Ont. (Oct. 5, 1813), in the War of 1812. Gen. William H. Harrison led an American force of about 3,000 against a British army of approximately 400 regulars commanded by Gen. Henry A. Procter, reinforced by 1,000 Native Americans under Tecumseh. After the British were driven from Detroit, Harrison followed their retreating army into Ontario and up the Thames River until General Procter was forced to give battle. A cavalry charge broke the British ranks, and the Native Americans offered the only real resistance. Tecumseh was slain in battle, thus completely destroying the native confederacy he had raised against the United States. By the battle of the Thames, U.S. control in the Northwest was restored.
ancient Tamesis

Principal river of England. It rises in the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire and winds 205 mi (330 km) eastward across south-central England into a great estuary, through which it empties into the North Sea. It is tidal for about 65 mi (104 km). Known by the Romans and by early English chroniclers, it has been celebrated by bards throughout history. One of the world's most important commercial waterways, it is navigable by large vessels to London.

Learn more about Thames, River with a free trial on Britannica.com.

ancient Tamesis

Principal river of England. It rises in the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire and winds 205 mi (330 km) eastward across south-central England into a great estuary, through which it empties into the North Sea. It is tidal for about 65 mi (104 km). Known by the Romans and by early English chroniclers, it has been celebrated by bards throughout history. One of the world's most important commercial waterways, it is navigable by large vessels to London.

Learn more about Thames, River with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Henley-on-Thames is a town on the north side of the River Thames in south Oxfordshire, England, about 10 miles downstream and north-east from Reading, 10 miles upstream and west from Maidenhead. It is located near the corner between the counties of Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.

History

Henley does not appear in Domesday Book of 1086 often it is mistaken for Henlei in the book which is in Surrey. The first record of medieval settlement dates to 1179, when it is recorded that King Henry II “had bought land for the making of buildings”. King John granted the manor of Benson and the town an manor of Henley to Robert Harcourt in 1199. A church is first mentioned at Henley in 1204. In 1205 the town received a paviage grant, and in 1234 the bridge is first mentioned. In 1278 Henley is described as a hamlet of Benson with a Chapel. It is probable that the street plan was established by the end of the 13th century.

As a demesne of the crown it was granted to John de Molyns, in 1337 whose family held it for about 250 years. It is said that members for Henley sat in parliaments of Edward I and Edward III, but no writs have been found to substantiate this.

The existing Thursday market, it is believed, was granted by a charter of King John. A market was certainly in existence by 1269, however, the jurors of the assize of 1284 said that they did not know by what warrant the earl of Cornwall held a market and fair in the town of Henley. The existing Corpus Christi fair was granted by a charter of Henry VI.

By the beginning of the 16th century the town extended along the west bank of the Thames from Friday Street in the south to the Manor, now Phyllis Court, in the north and took in Hart Street and New Street. To the west it included Bell Street and the Market Place.

Henry VIII, having granted the use of the titles "mayor" and "burgess", the town was incorporated in 1568 by the name of the warden, portreeves, burgesses and commonalty.

Henley suffered from both parties in the Civil War. William III on his march to London in 1688 rested here and received a deputation from the Lords. The period of prosperity in the 17th and 18th centuries was due to manufactures of glass and malt, and to trade in corn and wool.

Henley-on-Thames owes much to its location and port that supplied London with timber and grain.

Structures

Henley Bridge is a five arched bridge across the river which was built in 1786. The church of St. Mary is located nearby and features a tower built in the 16th century. About a mile upstream of the bridge is Marsh Lock.

In the vicinity of Henley, there are several notable private buildings:

Present day

Henley is a good base from which to commute to London for those with families who don't want to live in the city. The town has its own railway station, with direct service into London Paddington during peak hours. Off-peak service requires a change of train at Twyford. In addition, there are also express mainline rail services from nearby Reading to Paddington and High Wycombe which accesses London Marylebone. A short drive along the M4 motorway leads directly into London or to Hillingdon for the London Underground.

The River and Rowing Museum, located in Mill Meadows, is the town's one museum. It was established in 1998, and officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II. The museum, designed by the architect David Chipperfield, features information on the River Thames, the sport of rowing, and the town of Henley itself.

Rowing regatta

Henley is a world renowned centre for rowing, each summer holding the Henley Royal Regatta, one of the highlights of the social calendar of the English middle and upper classes. The regatta is held on a stretch of the river that is naturally straight. The event became Royal in 1851. In that year Prince Albert became the patron of the regatta.

Other regattas and rowing races are held on the same reach, including: Henley Women's Regatta and the Henley Boat Races for women's and lightweight teams between Oxford and Cambridge University, Henley Veteran Regatta, Upper Thames Small Boats Head, Henley Sculling Head, and Henley Small Boats Head. These heads often attract strong crews that have won medals at National Championships.

Local rowing clubs include:

Notable people

Twinning

Henley-on-Thames is twinned with

See also

  • Leander Club, one of the world's oldest rowing clubs
  • Henley shirt, a garment named after the town because it was the traditional uniform of the rowing clubs

References

External links

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