The Thames is "the King of Island Rivers;" if deficient in the grander features of landscape, it is rich in pictorial beauty; its associations are closely linked with heroic men and glorious achievements; its antiquities are of the rarest and most instructive order; its natural productions of the highest interest; it wanders through fertile meads and beside pleasant banks, gathering strength from a thousand tributaries; on either side are remains of ancient grandeur, homely villages, retired cottages, palatial dwellings, and populous cities and towns; boats and barges, and the sea-craft of a hundred nations, indicate and enhance its wealth; numerous locks and bridges facilitate its navigation, and promote the traffic that gives it fame. Its history is that of England. . . . It would be indeed impossible to over-estimate the value of the Thames to the British capital. It is said that when one of our sovereigns, angry with the chief magistrate of the metropolis, threatened to ruin it by removing the court, he received the memorable answer, "But your Majesty cannot remove the Thames!" — Samuel Carter and A. M. Hall (1859)

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The course of the River Thames from its source


Docks and dockyards

Major buildings

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River regions and landmarks

Related Material


Hall, Samuel Carter, and A. M. Hall. The Book of the Thames. London, Vertue, 1859.

London Past and Present. Ed. Malcolm C. Salaman. Text by Charles Holme. London: The Studio Ltd, 1916.

Last modified 17 October 2017