Islands in the River Thames

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Glover's Island from Richmond Hill

The islands in the River Thames are a great variety, running from the small eyots forming where the Thames is first wide enough to have islands, out to the great islands on the Thames Estuary.

There are many islands which cannot with all goodwill be listed, such as those little patches of ground isolated when weirs and locks were built, nor those very small islands that immediately adjoin the larger ones. The Isle of Dogs and Isle of Grain are no longer islands although their names remain. Some other so-called islands are also now just promontories, often marked by a small ditch.

Most of the islands are natural, but a few were created by rerouting of the navigation channel. Many Thames islands are called "aits" or "eyots" (which is the Old English igoþ; "islet"). Aits are usually longer thinner islands that have built up through an accumulation of silt.

List of islands

Sheppey - Minster from Elmley Marshes
Oliver's Island, low tide
Raven's Ait from Barge Walk
Platts Eyot - Port Hampton
Ham Island - The Cut
Bavin's Gulls and Cliveden
Temple Island, Henley

The islands are listed in order downstream to the sea.

Oxford floodplain

In the Oxford area the river splits into several streams across the floodplain, which create numerous islands. On the right bank a large island is created by Seacourt Stream, Botley Stream and Bulstake Stream, and there are smaller islands, including the island now known as Osney, created by streams between Bulstake Stream and the Thames, including Osney Ditch. The Oxford suburbs of Grandpont and New Hinksey are on an island created by Bulstake Stream, Hinksey Stream and Weirs Mill Stream. Iffley Meadows is an island west of Iffley Lock, between Weirs Mill Stream, Hinksey Stream and the Thames.

On the left bank Fiddler's Island and the island historically known as Osney lie between Castle Mill Stream and the Thames. Cripley Meadow is also on an island formed by Fiddler's Island Stream, Castle Mill Stream and Sheepwash Channel.

Lock islands

The construction of almost all locks on the Thames involved one or more artificial lock islands separating the lock from the weirs. These may have been created by building an artificial island in the river or by digging an artificial canal to contain the lock and turning the land between that and the river into an island. In many cases the lock island contains the lock keeper's house and can be accessed across the lock gates. Such lock islands are only listed above if they have a specific name of their own.

See also


  1. "Hampton Sailing Club". Retrieved 2008-12-09. "During 1962 the clubhouse was built on the piles at Benn's Island." 
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