Seven Springs, Gloucestershire
Seven Springs is a hamlet in the parish of Coberley in the Cotswold District of Gloucestershire in England, 4 miles (6.4 km) south of Cheltenham. Located at the intersection of the A435 and A436 roads, it is the source of the River Churn, which flows south across the Cotswolds through Cirencester and joins the Thames near Cricklade.
Source of the Thames
Two plaques at the site read "Hic tuus o Tamesine Pater septemgeminus fons" (Latin for "Here, O Father Thames, is your sevenfold spring").
In 2012 Coberley Parish Council posted a notice at the site arguing that Seven Springs "is certainly one of the sources of the River Thames and is held by many to be the ultimate source." The notice adds that the site is the source of the River Churn, which flows into the Thames at Cricklade, and as its location is furthest from the mouth of the Thames, it adds some 14 miles to the length of the river flow. Furthermore, the springs at the site flow throughout the year, whereas those at the official source of Thames Head are only seasonal. "The Churn/Thames River may therefore be regarded as the longest natural river flow in the United Kingdom, beating its nearest rival, the River Severn by some 9 miles." If this is deemed to be correct, it would also be longer than the River Shannon (224 miles/360.5 km), making it the longest river in the British Isles.
However, the stream from Seven Springs is joined within Coberley by a still longer tributary, which could claim to add further to the length of the Thames. Its source in the grounds of the National Star College at Ullenwood.
- "Neighbourhood Statistics: Full dataset view: Area selected: Cotswold (Non-Metropolitan District)". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- Philips, J. (1871). Geology of Oxford and Valley of the Thames. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 29.
- Winn, Christopher (2010). I Never Knew That about the Thames. London: Ebury Press. p. 11.
- Bailey, David (15 May 2012). "Could the River Thames be longer than the River Severn?". BBC News, Gloucestershire. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
- Hart, Dorothy (9 May 2004). "Seven Springs and the Churn". The-river-thames.co.uk. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
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