Thames Head is a site in Gloucestershire, traditionally identified as the source of the River Thames, a major river which runs through the centre of London. It lies near the village of Kemble and the town of Cirencester.
The claim that Thames Head is the source of the River Thames is disputed. The Environment Agency, the Ordnance Survey and other authorities have the source of the Thames as the nearby Trewsbury Mead. Others hold that the true source of the Thames is at Seven Springs, Gloucestershire, some eleven miles further north, and east of Gloucester. Officially, however, Seven Springs is the source of the River Churn, a tributary of the Thames that joins at Cricklade. This tributary, by its distance rising further than Trewsbury Mead, would therefore result in the Seven Springs being the ultimate source of the Thames.
A monument beneath an ash tree bears the inscription:
THE CONSERVATORS OF THE RIVER THAMES
THIS STONE WAS PLACED HERE TO MARK THE
SOURCE OF THE RIVER THAMES
A nearby basin of stones marks the spring. However, there is usually only water during a wet winter.
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- The Thames Head Forum debates the true origin of the Thames. (Note: account suspended.)
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