Lechlade is a small market town on the southern outskirts of the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire. The River Thames and Rivers Coln and Leach combine here and represent the highest point upstream on which larger vessels can travel on the Thames. Due to its proximity to the rivers and their confluence, Lechlade has been a center of trade for centuries. Stone mined in quarries in Taynton was loaded on boats at Lechlade and transported to building sites of famous structures all around England including Windsor Castle and St. Paul’s Cathedral as well as a number of Oxford Colleges. Now the town is a center of leisure for water sport enthusiasts.
Lechlade is believed to contain the oldest bridge over the Thames anywhere outside of London. The bridge was originally constructed in the 13th century but was rebuilt during the 19th century. A statue of Father Thames was moved from the source of the Thames to stand next to the bridge. Another bridge from the 18th century is situated to the south and is known as the Halfpenny Bridge.
The skyline of Lechlade is defined most prominently by the spire of St. Lawrence’s Church. The poet Shelley wrote the famous poem Summer Evening Meditation there. You can visit the glorious interior of the church or enjoy a view of the spire from a cruise aboard the Inglesham motorboat during the summer months.