The River Thames, known alternatively in parts as the Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London. At 215 miles, it is the longest river in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom, after the River Severn, it flows through Oxford, Henley-on-Thames and Windsor. The lower reaches of the river are called the Tideway, derived from its long tidal reach up to Teddington Lock, it rises at Thames Head in Gloucestershire, flows into the North Sea via the Thames Estuary. The Thames drains the whole of Greater London, its tidal section, reaching up to Teddington Lock, includes most of its London stretch and has a rise and fall of 23 feet. Running through some of the driest parts of mainland Britain and abstracted for drinking water, the Thames' discharge is low considering its length and breadth: the Severn has a discharge twice as large on average despite having a smaller drainage basin. In Scotland, the Tay achieves more than double the Thames' average discharge from a drainage basin, 60% smaller.
Along its course are 45 navigation locks with accompanying weirs. Its catchment area covers a small part of western England; the river contains over 80 islands. With its waters varying from freshwater to seawater, the Thames supports a variety of wildlife and has a number of adjoining Sites of Special Scientific Interest, with the largest being in the remaining parts of the North Kent Marshes and covering 5,449 hectares; the Thames, from Middle English Temese, is derived from the Brittonic Celtic name for the river, recorded in Latin as Tamesis and yielding modern Welsh Tafwys "Thames". The name may have meant "dark" and can be compared to other cognates such as Russian темно, Lithuanian tamsi "dark", Latvian tumsa "darkness", Sanskrit tamas and Welsh tywyll "darkness" and Middle Irish teimen "dark grey"; the same origin is shared by countless other river names, spread across Britain, such as the River Tamar at the border of Devon and Cornwall, several rivers named Tame in the Midlands and North Yorkshire, the Tavy on Dartmoor, the Team of the North East, the Teifi and Teme of Wales, the Teviot in the Scottish Borders, as well as one of the Thames' tributaries called the Thame.
Kenneth H. Jackson has proposed that the name of the Thames is not Indo-European, while Peter Kitson suggested that it is Indo-European but originated before the Celts and has a name indicating "muddiness" from a root *tā-,'melt'. Indirect evidence for the antiquity of the name'Thames' is provided by a Roman potsherd found at Oxford, bearing the inscription Tamesubugus fecit, it is believed. Tamese was referred to as a place, not a river in the Ravenna Cosmography; the river's name has always been pronounced with a simple t /t/. A similar spelling from 1210, "Tamisiam", is found in the Magna Carta; the Thames through Oxford is sometimes called the Isis. And in Victorian times and cartographers insisted that the entire river was named the Isis from its source down to Dorchester on Thames and that only from this point, where the river meets the Thame and becomes the "Thame-isis" should it be so called. Ordnance Survey maps still label the Thames as "River Isis" down to Dorchester. However, since the early 20th century this distinction has been lost in common usage outside of Oxford, some historians suggest the name Isis is nothing more than a truncation of Tamesis, the Latin name for the Thames.
Sculptures titled Tamesis and Isis by Anne Seymour Damer can be found on the bridge at Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. Richard Coates suggests that while the river was as a whole called the Thames, part of it, where it was too wide to ford, was called *lowonida; this gave the name to a settlement on its banks, which became known as Londinium, from the Indo-European roots *pleu- "flow" and *-nedi "river" meaning something like the flowing river or the wide flowing unfordable river. For merchant seamen, the Thames has long been just the "London River". Londoners refer to it as "the river" in expressions such as "south of the river"; the river gives its name to three informal areas: the Thames Valley, a region of England around the river between Oxford and West London. Thames Valley Police is a formal body. In non-administrative use, the river's name is used in those of Thames Valley University, Thames Water, Thames Television, publishing company Thames & Hudson and South Thames College. An example of its use in the names of historic entities is the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company.
The administrative powers of the Thames Conservancy have been taken on with modifications by the Environment Agency and, in respect of the Tideway part of the river, such powers are split between the agency and the Port of London Authority. The marks of human activity, in some cases dating back to Pre-Roman Britain, are visible at various points along the river; these include a variety of structure
City of London Corporation
The City of London Corporation and the Mayor and Commonalty and Citizens of the City of London, is the municipal governing body of the City of London, the historic centre of London and the location of much of the United Kingdom's financial sector. In 2006 the name was changed from Corporation of London to avoid confusion with the wider London local government, the Greater London Authority. Both businesses and residents of the City, or "Square Mile", are entitled to vote in elections, in addition to its functions as the local authority – analogous to those undertaken by the 32 boroughs that administer the rest of the Greater London region – it takes responsibility for supporting the financial services industry and representing its interests; the corporation's structure includes the Lord Mayor, the Court of Aldermen, the Court of Common Council, the Freemen and Livery of the City. The rights and privileges of the City of London are enshrined in the Magna Carta’s clause 9 - as enumerated in 1297 - and, along with clauses 1 and 29, it remains in statute.
In Anglo-Saxon times, consultation between the City's rulers and its citizens took place at the Folkmoot. Administration and judicial processes were conducted at the Court of Husting and the non-legal part of the court's work evolved into the Court of Aldermen. There is no surviving record of a charter first establishing the Corporation as a legal body, but the City is regarded as incorporated by prescription, meaning that the law presumes it to have been incorporated because it has for so long been regarded as such; the City of London Corporation has been granted various special privileges since the Norman Conquest, the Corporation's first recorded Royal Charter dates from around 1067, when William the Conqueror granted the citizens of London a charter confirming the rights and privileges that they had enjoyed since the time of Edward the Confessor. Numerous subsequent Royal Charters over the centuries extended the citizens' rights. Around 1189, the City gained the right to have its own mayor being advanced to the degree and style of Lord Mayor of London.
Over time, the Court of Aldermen sought increasing help from the City's commoners and this was recognised with commoners being represented by the Court of Common Council, known by that name since at least as far back as 1376. The earliest records of the business habits of the City's Chamberlains and Common Clerks, the proceedings of the Courts of Common Council and Aldermen, begin in 1275, are recorded in fifty volumes known as the Letter-Books of the City of London; the City of London Corporation had its privileges stripped by a writ quo warranto under Charles II in 1683, but they were restored and confirmed by Act of Parliament under William III and Mary II in 1690, after the Glorious Revolution. With growing demands on the Corporation and a corresponding need to raise local taxes from the commoners, the Common Council grew in importance and has been the principal governing body of the City of London since the 18th century. In January 1898, the Common Council gained the full right to collect local rates when the City of London Sewers Act 1897 transferred the powers and duties of the Commissioners of Sewers of the City of London to the Corporation.
A separate Commission of Sewers was created for the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666, as well as the construction of drains it had responsibility for the prevention of flooding. The individual commissioners were nominated by the Corporation, but it was a separate body; the Corporation had earlier limited rating powers in relation to raising funds for the City of London Police, as well as the militia rate and some rates in relation to the general requirements of the Corporation. The Corporation is unique among British local authorities for its continuous legal existence over many centuries, for having the power to alter its own constitution, done by an Act of Common Council. Local government legislation makes special provision for the City to be treated as a London borough and for the Common Council to act as a local authority; the Corporation does not have general authority over the Middle Temple and the Inner Temple, two of the Inns of Court adjoining the west of the City which are historic extra-parochial areas, but many statutory functions of the Corporation are extended into these two areas.
The Chief Executive of the administrative side of the Corporation holds the ancient office of Town Clerk of London. Because of its accumulated wealth and responsibilities the Corporation has a number of officers and officials unique to its structure who enjoy more autonomy than most local council officials, each of whom has a separate budget: The Town Clerk, the Chief Executive; the Chamberlain, the City Treasurer and Finance Officer. The City Remembrancer, responsible for protocol, security issues as well as legislative matters that may affect the Corporation and is qualified; the City Surveyor, provides guidance to combine the fund management of a major central London commercial property portfolio extending to over 16 million square feet of space, with the management of the City’s 600 operational properties stretching across Greater London, including Guildhall, The Mansion House, Central Criminal Court. The Comptroller and City Solicitor; the Recorder of London, the senior judge at the Central Criminal Court'Old Bailey', technically a member of the Court of Aldermen.
A baluster—also called spindle—is a moulded shaft, square or of lathe-turned form, cut from a rectangular or square plank, one of various forms of spindle in woodwork, made of stone or wood, sometimes of metal or plastic, standing on a unifying footing, supporting the coping of a parapet or the handrail of a staircase. Multiplied in this way, they form a balustrade. Individually, a baluster shaft may describe the turned form taken by a brass or silver candlestick, an upright furniture support, or the stem of a brass chandelier, etc. According to OED, "baluster" is derived through the French: balustre, from Italian: balaustro, from balaustra, "pomegranate flower", from Latin balaustium, from Greek βαλαύστιον; the earliest examples are those shown in the bas-reliefs representing the Assyrian palaces, where they were employed as window balustrades and had Ionic capitals. As an architectural element the balustrade did not seem to have been known to either the Greeks or the Romans, but baluster forms are familiar in the legs of chairs and tables represented in Roman bas-reliefs, where the original legs or the models for cast bronze ones were shaped on the lathe, or in Antique marble candelabra, formed as a series of stacked bulbous and disc-shaped elements, both kinds of sources familiar to Quattrocento designers.
The application to architecture was a feature of the early Renaissance: late fifteenth-century examples are found in the balconies of palaces at Venice and Verona. These quattrocento balustrades are to be following yet-unidentified Gothic precedents, they form balustrades of colonnettes as an alternative to miniature arcading. Rudolf Wittkower withheld judgement as to the inventor of the baluster and credited Giuliano da Sangallo with using it as early as the balustrade on the terrace and stairs at the Medici villa at Poggio a Caiano, used balustrades in his reconstructions of antique structures. Sangallo passed the motif to Bramante and Michelangelo, through whom balustrades gained wide currency in the 16th century. Wittkower distinguished two types, one symmetrical in profile that inverted one bulbous vase-shape over another, separating them with a cushionlike torus or a concave ring, the other a simple vase shape, whose employment by Michelangelo at the Campidoglio steps, noted by Wittkower, was preceded by early vasiform balusters in a balustrade round the drum of Santa Maria delle Grazie, railings in the cathedrals of Aquileia and Parma, in the cortile of San Damaso and Antonio da Sangallo's crowning balustrade on the Santa Casa at Loreto installed in 1535, liberally in his model for the Basilica of Saint Peter.
Because of its low center of gravity, this "vase-baluster" may be given the modern term "dropped baluster". The baluster, being a turned structure, tends to follow design precedents that were set in woodworking and ceramic practices, where the turner's lathe and the potter's wheel are ancient tools; the profile a baluster takes is diagnostic of a particular style of architecture or furniture, may offer a rough guide to date of a design, though not of a particular example. Some complicated Mannerist baluster forms can be read as a vase set upon another vase; the high shoulders and bold, rhythmic shapes of the Baroque vase and baluster forms are distinctly different from the sober baluster forms of Neoclassicism, which look to other precedents, like Greek amphoras. The distinctive twist-turned designs of balusters in oak and walnut English and Dutch seventeenth-century furniture, which took as their prototype the Solomonic column, given prominence by Bernini, fell out of style after the 1710s.
Once it had been taken from the lathe, a turned wood baluster could be split and applied to an architectural surface, or to one in which architectonic themes were more treated, as on cabinets made in Italy and Northern Europe from the sixteenth through the seventeenth centuries. Modern baluster design is in use for example in designs influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement in a 1905 row of houses in Etchingham Park Road Finchley London England. Outside Europe, the baluster column appeared as a new motif in Mughal architecture, introduced in Shah Jahan's interventions in two of the three great fortress-palaces, the Red Fort of Agra and Delhi, in the early seventeenth century. Foliate baluster columns with naturalistic foliate capitals, unexampled in previous Indo-Islamic architecture according to Ebba Koch became one of the most used forms of supporting shaft in Northern and Central India in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; the modern term baluster shaft is applied to the shaft dividing a window in Saxon architecture.
In the south transept of the Abbey in St Albans, are some of these shafts, supposed to have been taken from the old Saxon church. Norman bases and capitals have been added, together with plain cylindrical Norman shafts. Balusters are separated by at least the same measurement as the size of the square bottom section. Placing balusters too far apart diminishes their aesthetic appeal. Balustrades terminate in columns, building walls or more properly in heavy newel posts because otherwise they will not be structurally strong enough. Balusters may be formed in several ways. Wood and stone can be shaped on the lathe, wood can be cut from square or rectangular section boards, while concrete, plaster and plastics are formed by molding and casting. Turned patterns or old examples are used for the molds. Cast iron Cast stone Hardwoods and softwoods Plaster Polymer stone Polyurethane/polystyrene Wrought iron Vinyl The word banister
Kingston Railway Bridge
Kingston Railway Bridge in Kingston upon Thames, crosses the River Thames on the reach above Teddington Lock. It carries the Kingston Loop Line train service from London Waterloo station, where the majority of services begin and end and which line includes a maintenance depot; the loop diverges from main lines at New Richmond. East and west of the bridge along the line are Hampton Wick stations; the loop returns to the south bank of its terminus via Richmond Railway Bridge. The loop feeds a branch line, a further incentive for the 1863 construction of the bridge, Shepperton Branch Line. First Kingston Railway Bridge and its 1907-built replacementThe present bridge was designed by J W Jacomb Hood and built in 1907, replacing a cast-iron bridge designed by J E Errington, first discussed in 1860, completed in 1863. Design specificationsThe bridge has five arches: three span the Thames; the bridge has elevated track approaches varying from on viaduct to on embankment, which navigate curves and fly over an urban grid of roads.
Former industrial surroundingsTwin power stations were close to the bridge on the Kingston bank from 1893 to 1959 as to one and from 1948 to 1980 as to the later. Being close to the Thames, coal came up river by barge, ash was sent away the same way; the barge dock was constructed at Kingston Railway Bridge close to the present the upstream entrance to Canbury Gardens. Much of these sites has been landscaped for public park use and accommodates high-specification 21st century mid- and high-rise apartments; the bridge carries the South Western compass sector operator's suburban Kingston Loop, with trains starting and ending at its sole London terminus: Waterloo. The loop diverges from main lines at New Twickenham. Within 400 m along the line from the bridge are Hampton Wick; the loop returns to the south bank of the Thames via Richmond Railway Bridge on the combined, major Windsor and Reading line. The loop feeds a branch line, the Shepperton Branch Line; when part of the Kingston Loop is unable to operate, the bridge enables continued passenger services using the capacity of bay platform 1 at Kingston railway station, the only example on the loop.
The Shepperton Branch Line branches off the loop about halfway between the two Thames bridges, the capacity of a bay platform means various service patterns have been used since the bridge was built. Both lines are used for stopping services, except when either main line is diverted, more the Windsor and Reading lines which must be diverted via Kingston or via Hounslow when the busiest stretches of that line are being repaired; the loop has Strawberry Hill maintenance depot. Crossings of the River Thames Kingston Loop Line London and South Western Railway List of bridges in London
Putney Bridge is a bridge over the River Thames in west London, linking Putney on the south side with Fulham to the north. The bridge has medieval parish churches beside its abutments: St. Mary's Church, Putney is built on the south and All Saints Church, Fulham on the north bank; this close proximity of two churches by a major river is rare, another example being at Goring-on-Thames and Streatley, villages hemmed in by the Chiltern Hills. Before the first bridge was built in 1729, a ferry had shuttled between the two banks; the current format is one lane northbound. Putney High Street, a main approach, is part of a London hub for retail, food and entertainment. Putney Embankment hosts Putney Pier for riverboat services south-west of the bridge as well as the capital's largest set of facilities in rowing; the Pier in the sport marks one end of the Championship Course. The north side of the bridge is 120m WSW of Putney Bridge Underground station, in the park-sandwiched Hurlingham neighbourhood of Fulham.
Parkland to the west includes the gardens of historic home of the Bishops of London. On the south side of the bridge are St. Mary's Church and a rounded glass-prowed ship-shaped 21st century building, Putney Wharf Tower, one of the tallest buildings in Putney; the story runs that "in 1720 Sir Robert Walpole was returning from seeing George I at Kingston on Thames and being in a hurry to get to the House of Commons rode together with his servant to Putney to take the ferry across to Fulham. The ferry boat was on the opposite side and the waterman, drinking in The Swan, ignored the calls of Sir Robert and his servant and they were obliged to take another route." Walpole vowed. The Prince of Wales "was inconvenienced by the ferry when returning from hunting in Richmond Park and asked Walpole to use his influence by supporting the bridge."The legal framework for construction of a bridge was approved by an Act of Parliament in 1726. Built by local master carpenter Thomas Phillips to a design by architect Sir Jacob Acworth, the first bridge was opened on 29 November 1729.
In its first guise, from 1729 to 1886 it was down river to the north, in many official records was known as Fulham Bridge. It was Kingston Bridge at the time. A toll bridge, it had tollbooths at either end of the timber-built structure. In October 1795, Mary Wollstonecraft and early women's equality advocate planned to commit suicide by jumping from the bridge, because she had returned from a trip to Sweden to discover that her lover was involved with an actress from London; the bridge has been the starting point for The Boat Race since 1845. The competitors are 32 men of Oxford and University of Cambridge with two crews of first and second eights. Women's eights competed this for the first time in 2015, having since 1927 competed a shorter varsity race in Henley in the early spring; the bridge was badly damaged by the collision of a river barge in 1870. Although part of the bridge was subsequently replaced, soon the entire bridge would be demolished; the Metropolitan Board of Works purchased the bridge in 1879, discontinued the tolls in 1880, set about its replacement.
In 1886 construction of the stone bridge that stands today, on a new alignment, was completed. A new road – Putney Bridge Approach – was laid to connect the northern end of the new bridge with Fulham High Street at its junction with New King's Road: in consequence the southernmost stretch of Fulham High Street was reduced to a cul-de-sac; the bridge was designed by civil engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette as a five-span structure, built of stone and Cornish granite. Bazalgette designed London's sewerage system, the bridge integrates two of his five outfall sewers running perpendicular to it, it was constructed by John Waddell of Edinburgh, whose tender of £240,433 was accepted on 15 April 1882. It is 700 ft long and 43 ft wide, was opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales on 29 May 1886. In 1933, the bridge was widened to its present three carriageways. Putney Bridge Approach was widened in consequence, further encroaching on the churchyard of All Saints Church, Fulham; the stone marking the downstream end of the Championship Course is used for all boat races through Putney in Olympic-class rowing boats.
These include the Wingfield Sculls and the UK's main Head of the River Races, just west of the bridge, rather than at the bridge itself, under which the centre of its middle arch would provide an advantage if starting underneath it, as all races are competed with the tide. Putney Bridge is very busy on Saturdays when Fulham F. C. are playing at home. In March 1953, British serial killer and necrophiliac John Christie was arrested on Putney Bridge. In 2007, the Grade II listed structure suffered considerable damage by a developer who cut several holes into the Cornish granite of the southern approach of the bridge. On 14 July 2014, Putney Bridge closed for three months, except to pedestrians and dismounted cyclists, to undergo "essential repairs" by Wandsworth Council "to better protect the bridge from damage caused by water penetration, which has contributed to the poor road surface"; the bridge reopened on 26 September 2014. Crossings of the River Thames Putney Bridge tube station List of bridges in London Putney Bridge at Structurae Coordinates: 51°28′01″N 0°12′47″W
John Leland (antiquary)
John Leland or Leyland was an English poet and antiquary. Leland has been described as "the father of English local history and bibliography", his Itinerary provided a unique source of observations and raw materials for many subsequent antiquaries, introduced the county as the basic unit for studying the local history of England, an idea, influential since. Most evidence for Leland's life and career comes from his own writings his poetry, he was born in London on 13 September, most in about 1503, had an older brother named John. Having lost both his parents at an early age, he and his brother were raised by Thomas Myles. Leland was educated at St Paul's School, under its first headmaster, William Lily, it was here that he met some of his future benefactors, notably William Paget. Leland was subsequently sent to Christ's College, graduating in 1522. While studying there, he was for a short time imprisoned, having accused a certain knight of collaborating with Richard de la Pole, the Yorkist claimant to the throne.
He proceeded to Lambeth, serving Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, as tutor to his son Thomas. When the duke died in 1524, the king sent Leland to Oxford, where as Anthony Wood claimed from tradition, he became a fellow of All Souls College, he would deplore the state of education at Oxford, which he felt was too conservative in its approach to classical studies. Between 1526 and 1528, Leland proceeded to Paris, studying along with many fellow expatriates, both English and German, his original plan to study in Italy, never succeeded. Leland honed his skills at composing Latin poetry and sought the acquaintance of humanist scholars whom he much admired, such as Guillaume Budé and Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples. A scholar of particular importance for Leland was François Dubois, professor at the Collège de Tournai, who had a profound effect on his poetic as well as antiquarian interests. While in France, Leland kept in touch with his friends and sponsors in England including Thomas Wolsey and Lord Chancellor, who made him rector at Laverstoke, Hampshire.
By 1529, Leland had returned to England. When Wolsey fell from the king's favour in that year, Leland appears to have sought the patronage of Thomas Cromwell, a relationship which would help explain his rising fortunes over the next few years, he was appointed one of the chaplains to King Henry VIII, who gave him the rectory of Peuplingues, in the marshes of Calais. In 1533, Leland received papal dispensation for four benefices, on condition that he became subdeacon within two years and priest within seven, he received two adjacent benefices. Leland and Nicholas Udall composed verses to be read or recited at the pageant of Anne Boleyn's arrival in London in 1533, staged for the occasion of her coronation, their common patron was Thomas, Duke of Norfolk and Cornwall. The poets worked together again during 1533 and 1534, when Leland contributed verses for Udall's Floures for Latine Spekynge. In 1533, the king appears to have entrusted Leland with a document, "a moste gratius commission", which authorized him to examine and use the libraries of all religious houses in England.
Leland spent the next few years travelling from house to house, for the most part shortly before they were dissolved, compiling numerous lists of significant or unusual books in their libraries. About 1535, he met the ex-Carmelite churchman and fellow antiquary John Bale, who much admired his work and offered his assistance. In 1536, not long after the First Suppression Act commanding the dissolution of lesser monasteries was passed, Leland lamented the spoliation of monastic libraries and addressed Thomas Cromwell in a letter seeking aid for the rescue of books, he complained that The Germans perceive our desidiousness, do send daily young scholars hither that spoileth, cutteth them out of libraries, returning home and putting them abroad as monuments of their own country. In the 1530s and 1540s, the royal library was reorganised to accommodate hundreds of books that were kept in monastic collections. Leland himself describes how Henry's palaces at Greenwich, Hampton Court and Westminster were adapted for the purpose.
Leland's part in this is uncertain. In humanist fashion, Leland styled himself antiquarius, a title, at one time interpreted as referring to a formal appointment as "king's antiquary": however, it is now understood to have been Leland's own preferred way of describing himself. There is no evidence that he oversaw the relocation of the books to their new home or received a librarian's wages. What he did do was to compile his lists of important volumes, to take measures to encourage their preservation. After the dissolution, Leland did not abandon his hunt for books. For instance, he obtained official permission to avail himself of the library belonging to the defunct monastery of Bury St Edmunds; the descriptions of Britain which he encountered in the manuscripts and his personal experiences of travel sparked off fresh interests. By about 1538, Leland had turned his attention to English and Welsh topography and antiquities, embarking on a series of journeys which lasted six years. Over the summer of 1538, he made an extended excursion through Wales.
He subsequently made a number of journeys in England: the exact sequence and their dates are again uncertain, but there seem to have been five major English itineraries, taken over the summers of
The Thames Path is a National Trail following the River Thames from its source near Kemble in Gloucestershire to the Thames Barrier at Charlton, south east London. It is about 184 miles long. A path was first proposed in 1948 but it only opened in 1996; the Thames Path's entire length can be walked, a few parts can be cycled. Some parts of the Thames Path west of Oxford, are subject to flooding during the winter; the river is tidal downstream from Teddington Lock and parts of the path may be under water if there is a high tide, although the Thames Barrier protects London from catastrophic flooding. The Thames Path uses the river towpath between available path elsewhere. Towpath traffic crossed the river using many ferries, but crossings in these places do not all exist now and some diversion from the towpath is necessary; the general aim of the path and the object of occasional path changes is to provide walkers with a pleasant route and access to the river, as much as possible. The Thames Path provision falls into three distinct areas.
The Thames Path uses all available riverside rights of way between the traditional source of the river in Trewsbury Mead and Inglesham, but is unable to run alongside the river in several places. The Thames Path starts beside the monument for the source of the river and follows the stream down the hill towards Kemble. On the stretch between Ewen and Somerford Keynes you pass through fields and there are a number of watermills; the path follows the river through Cotswold Water Park to Ashton Keynes where the river divides into a number of streams. The path wanders to and from the river amongst more gravel pits until Hailstone Hill, where a branch of the Wilts & Berks Canal crossed the river on an aqueduct. There is a riverside path out of Cricklade and all the way to Castle Eaton; the path next follows country lanes, a short stretch along a backwater to Hannington Bridge goes across fields to Inglesham. In 2018 the path incorporated a section of permissive path alongside the river at Upper Inglesham.
Above Inglesham the river is not dredged and is its natural self without the benefit of locks with weirs to control water levels so it is shallow and swift and the river level fluctuates, hence flooding of riverside paths is common. Today the Environment Agency is responsible for the Thames between Teddington; the towpath now stops just upstream of Lechlade, as does the ability to navigate the river for all but small boats. The navigation above Lechlade was neglected after the Thames and Severn Canal provided an alternative route for barge traffic; the Thames Path uses the existing Thames towpath between Inglesham and Putney Bridge wherever possible. The Thames has been used for navigation for a long time, although owners of weirs and towpath charged tolls; the towpath owes its existence in its current form to the Industrial Revolution and the Canal Mania of the 1790s to 1810s, so is related to the History of the British canal system. It was not until a little after the Thames Navigation Commission were enabled by a 1795 Act of Parliament to purchase land for a continuous horse path that the non-tidal navigation was consolidated as a complete route under a single authority, upstream to Inglesham.
This improved the ability of horse drawn barge traffic to travel upstream to the Thames and Severn Canal, which had opened in 1789. The commissioners had to create horse ferries to join up sections of towpath, as the Act did not allow them to compulsorily purchase land near an existing house, garden or orchard; the City of London Corporation, who had rights and responsibilities for the Thames below Staines, from a point marked by the London Stone, had bought out the towpath tolls of riparian land owners as enabled by an earlier Thames Navigation Act in 1776. Although both development of the railways and steam power supplanted horse drawn boats on the non-tidal Thames from the 1840s, the towpath still exists little changed, except for the discontinuance of the ferries, some of which were still running until the 1960s; the canal entrance is the present day limit of navigation for powered craft and is one and a half miles upstream of the highest boat lock near Lechlade. Today, between the canal entrance and Putney Bridge, the towpath still allows access by foot to at least one side of the river for the whole length of the main navigation of the river, but not mill streams, backwaters or a few meanders cut off by lock cuttings, since towpaths were only intended to enable towing of barges.
The main exception to the access to the navigation between Inglesham and Putney is a stretch of river without any dedicated path by Home Park, Windsor. The Windsor Castle private grounds were extended to include the riverbank by the Windsor Castle Act 1848, involving the building of Victoria and Albert bridges and the removal of Datchet Bridge; this accounts for the Thames Path's diversion from the river at Datchet. There are two other short lengths of navigation missing access: between Marlow bridge and lock, either side of The Swan public house in Pangbourne. Otherwise, between Inglesham and Putney, the Thames Path only needs to make a diversion from the remaining towpath due to the lack of a lock, bridge o