The Thames is one of the most iconic rivers in the world and the longest river entirely in England, the second longest in the UK. Its source is at Thames Head, near Kemble, in a meadow called Trewsbury Mead in the Cotswolds- marked by a headstone.
We made this the first stop in our whistle stop, two night tour of The Cotswolds in Gloucestershire.
We visited at a bit of an iconic moment for the river source. For the first time at least since 1976, apparently ,this source of the Thames has dried up.
Walking further long the Thames path we came to the Sapperton Canal Tunnel and one of five round houses on the Thames and Severn Canal- all former lengthsmen’s cottages built along the canal between Chalford and Lechdale and constructed in the 1790s when the canal was built.
Lengthsmen were responsible for lengths of towpath and, in the absence of a lock-keeper, for the locks. Other duties, included management of water levels, control of weirs, repair and maintenance of banks on their “length”, including cutting reeds and vegetation and treading puddle clay into sections of bank which were leaking or weak.
It was a lovely warm early autumnal afternoon. The hedges were full of berries, the trees bearing fruits nuts and leaves on the turn. A welcoming introduction to our first visit to The Cotswolds.