Pharaoh's Island, River Thames

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Pharaoh's Island from The Thames Court (taken when the river was red-boarded to navigation)

Pharaoh's Island is an island in the River Thames, in Surrey, England, 270 m upstream of Shepperton Lock.


The island has a length of 280 m and a maximum width of 60 m. Shepperton Lock is 270 m downstream and two other channels leading to weirs diverge off after the island to its southeast. These channels then surround Lock Island and Hamhaugh Island.[1] The island is only accessible by boat, with the facilities of Lock Island downstream and moorings there or by the pub The Thames Court almost opposite its eastern tip on the nearer, north bank.

River Level[edit]

Above the lock, the variation in river level has been between 0.08 m at the lock gate and 0.99 m. This compares favourably to variation below the lock at between 2.67 m and 4.95 m in depth.[2]


It was given[by whom?] to Admiral Nelson after the Battle of the Nile (1798). He used it as a fishing retreat.[citation needed]

Residential development[edit]

Since the late 20th century it has hosted 14 homes with individual moorings.[3] Most of the properties have Egyptian names.[4]

The property names are:[5]

  • Amasis
  • Ferry Cottage
  • Ishta
  • Isis
  • Kantara
  • Lotus
  • Luxor
  • Mabrouk
  • Maleesh
  • Mannana
  • Memphis
  • Minoru
  • Nada
  • Nakhti
  • Nile
  • Nyanzh
  • Osiris
  • Pharaos Cottage
  • Philae
  • Pyramid
  • Sphinx
  • Sunset Cottage
  • Thebes
  • Willow Cottage
  • Willow Hayne

Deaths in January 2011[edit]

In January 2011, a small dinghy ferrying people from the island capsized with the loss of two lives. The fatalities were named as university professor Dr Rex Walford OBE [6] and record producer Keith Lowde.[7]

Media representations[edit]

As the home of his family, the island was the setting for director John Boorman's two semi-autobiographical films: Hope and Glory in 1987 and Queen and Country in 2014.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Grid Reference Finder distance tools
  2. ^ Environment Agency daily measurements at lock stations Retrieved 2013-07-14
  3. ^ Grid square map Ordnance survey website
  4. ^ Caroline McGhie (26 July 2006). "Nelson's Egypt-on-Thames". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 20 April 2017. 
  5. ^ House prices in Pharaohs Island, Shepperton TW17
  6. ^ Mike Younger and Joan Whitehead (10 March 2011). "Rex Walford obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  7. ^ The Sun news report Retrieved 23 January 2011
  8. ^ Readers Digest, retrieved 24 December 2016 

Next island upstream River Thames Next island downstream
Laleham Burway (including Abbey Mead)  Pharaoh's Island
Grid reference: TQ068659
Lock Island
Hamhaugh Island 

Coordinates: 51°22′57″N 00°27′53″W / 51.38250°N 0.46472°W / 51.38250; -0.46472