About the Thames

Section 4 – Wallingford to Reading

Researched and written by Jeannette Briggs and photos by Stephen Worsfold

Gatehampton Bridge by Doug Myers 

On leaving Wallingford we next encounter Moulsford Railway Bridge, designed by the famous Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, to carry his famous Great Western Railway over the Thames on its way to Bath and Bristol. We then reach Goring on Thames. Here there are two bridges crossing the Thames which meet on an island in the middle of the river.(headroom 16’11").

River Thames
The view from Goring Bridge by SW

Just south of the town is another Brunel structure, the Railway Bridge at Gatehampton, after which we see the twin towns of Pangbourne and Whitchurch, joined by Whitchurch Bridge (headroom 13’7") This is the other toll bridge over the Thames.


Whitchurch Bridge by SW

The river continues its progress down to Caversham, on the edge of Reading. The first Caversham Bridge was made of wood in AD 1231 – the present structure is a twin-span concrete giant (headroom 15’) which was opened by Edward VIII when he was the Prince of Wales. Very shortly after leaving Caversham one sees Reading Bridge (headroom 17’8"), a huge single arch bridge built in 1923. Just beyond this bridge is the entrance to the River Kennet and you can make a fascinating journey along the stunningly beautiful Kennet and Avon Canal towards Bath and Bristol from this point - see www.canalguide.co.uk for full details.

Reading Bridge - photo courtesy D Burgess

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