The Thames Tideway is one of London’s largest engineering projects. As workers dig a new sewage tunnel beneath the city, they have the opportunity to find long-buried pieces of history. Now, one newly discovered skeleton is shedding light on those who lived, and died, working on the river hundreds of years ago.
In a field just a few miles from the Gloucestershire town of Cirencester, a stone marks what is generally considered the source of one of the U.K.’s most important rivers. From its birthplace in the Cotswold Hills, through the capital of London, into the Thames Estuary and out into the North Sea, the Thames is a vital part of the area’s history.
The Thames is 215 miles in length, making it the second-longest river in the U.K. after the Severn. The early part of its course is gentle, through low-lying fields. As it enters London, freshwater encounters the waters of the estuary. There, the presence of the sea causes the tides to deepen and strengthen.