About The Thames

www.riverthames.co.ukThe River Thames Guide homepage

Eynsham Lock

The rise at Eynsham Lock is 0.84 metres (2ft 9in), the fourth shallowest lock on the Thames. Despite this fact, at least 135 million litres of water pass Eynsham Lock and weir each day.

Just downstream is the attractive historic village of Eynsham, and its famous stone toll bridge. Swinford Toll Bridge, built in 1769 during the days of stage coaches, highwaymen and turnpikes, is described as the finest of the many bridges over the Thames with its Georgian architecture.

Swinford Toll Bridge is one of only two toll bridges over the Thames - the other is at Whitchurch. Swinford gets its name from early times when it was an ancient crossing for transporting pigs, ie swine ford.

Eynsham is claimed to be one of the oldest villages in Britain. It is mentioned in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle in 571AD when Cuthwolf fought the Britons at Bedcanford and captured four villages, Limbury, Aylesbury, Benson, and Eynsham.

Eynsham Lock was built quite recently, in 1928, as part of the then Thames Conservancy's plan to make the Thames navigable to Lechlade. Before that, since at least medieval times there was a flash weir (originally owned by Eynsham Abbey) by the toll bridge.

Eynsham Lock is where you might be lucky enough to spot otters swimming in the river.

There are also golden crested grebes, terns, buzzards, kestrels, sparrow hawks, and possibly an egret.

Back to About the Thames