Lechlade-on-Thames stands alongside the River Thames at an important point in the story of the river, where it begins its working life downstream to London. Today, Lechlade serves the needs of recreation on the river.
For more details please see:
The Neptune-like statue of Old Father Thames was removed some years ago from Thames Head to St John’s Lock, the highest navigable point of the river. From here it casts a benevolent eye on leisure traffic.
Market place and St Lawrence's church
A market town, Lechlade is still focused around its market place and the church of St Lawrence, one of the lesser-known of the Cotswold wool churches. Its slender spire is a landmark across the river meadows. It was in this churchyard that the poet Shelley found inspiration to compose ‘A Summer Evening Churchyard, Lechlade’ in 1815. The verse is inscribed by the churchyard entrance.
Canal and bridges
Upstream the river is winding and delightful with the old Thames and Severn Canal coming in to meet the river at nearby Inglesham. There are two fine bridges, St John’s Bridge and Halfpenny Bridge, which has a tiny toll-house from former days.
Buscot Park and mansion
The village of Buscot is on the river and there is a towpath walk from Lechlade. At Buscot Park, the Adam-style mansion is set in its 55 acre park and has a fine collection of furniture and paintings.
Kelmscott is 3.5 miles from Lechlade and is renowned for its homely informal manor house, where William Morris lived from 1871-96. The rural nature of this part of the Upper Thames valley remains undisturbed.