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THAMES, the main river of England, rises in several small streams among the Cotteswold Hills in Gloucestershire. Its source is generally Known to be at a place known as Thames Head, in the parish of Coates. around Cirencester; but claims have also been advanced on behalf of the Seven Springs, the head waters of the river Churn, 5 miles south of Cheltenham. The length of the river from Thames Head Bridge to London Bridge is 1614 m and from London Bridge to the Nore, 474 m a total of 209 m. The width at Oxford is about 150 feet, at Teddington 250 feet, at London Bridge 750 feet, at Gravesend 2100 ft., and between Sheerness and Shoeburyness, immediately above the Nore, 52 m. The height of Thames Head above sea-level is 35 6 feet, but that of Seven Springs, the adoption of which as the source would extend the length of the river by several miles, is 700 feet. The height of the river at Lechlade is 237 feet, the average fall between Lechlade and London, 1434 m, being rather less than 20 in. per mile. The drainage area of the Thames is 5924 sq. m., including that of the Medway, which, as it joins the estuary immediately above Sheerness, may be considered a tributary of the Thames. The Thames forms part of the Gloucestershire-Wiltshire boundary to a point below Lechlade; thence for a short distance it separates Gloucestershire from Berkshire; after which it separates successively Oxfordshire and Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, Middlesex and Surrey, and finally, at its estuary, Essex and Kent.

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