Pipers Island, or Piper's Island, is the third-smallest map-named island in the River Thames, in England. It is on the Reading, Berkshire reach (the head of water above Caversham Lock). It is toward the edge of the central urban area of the town of Reading and connected by a gangway to Caversham Bridge, a road and pedestrian bridge that links that town to its left bank suburb of Caversham.

Pipers Island from Caversham Bridge
Pipers Island showing channel separating it from the Caversham bank of the river

Use edit

Pipers Island has been hard-landscaped into a public house and restaurant, The Island, the surrounding decking of which is shared for restaurant use and moorings of boats, used for a boat hire and larger vessels running hourly cruises during the Summer months. The banks of the island are today sheet metal topped with wooden decking. A protective rail guards the lower and somewhat smaller upper decks of the restaurant which are similar in design.

Access edit

The ait is the third-smallest of those named on official maps of the Thames.[1] Maps show it has clearly approximately kept its footprint measurement of 0.147 acres (590 m2) shortly before the year 1900, though the few rounded corners of its then-boathouse use have been neatly squared since the restaurant's opening.[2] It is accessed on foot by a footbridge and staircase (also known together as a gangway) that connects the island to the centre of Caversham Bridge. The smallest island with vehicular access on the river is almost double its size, Swan Island, London which is in Twickenham.[3][4][5]

Family owners within the Livery Company of Watermen and Lightermen edit

It is known that in 1766 the Firework Ait, Windsor was likewise called Piper's Eyot and had another name before its later renaming.[6] Guinea Piper was a celebrated waterman at the time.[6] One of Eton College's longboats was named after him - My Guinea's Lion. Another, Piper's Green was named after one of his watermen brothers Richard (known as Dick) or James (known as Jack) Piper and this eyot later came into the family's ownership where they plied a local boat repair trade.[6]

Location edit

The ait is toward the edge of the central urban area of the town of Reading and connected by a gangway attached to the middle of the downstream stone balustrade of Caversham Bridge, a road bridge that links that town to its left bank suburb of Caversham, its closer bank.[7]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ See List of islands in the River Thames
  2. ^ OS 25-inch-to-mile map of Oxfordshire of 1897, sheets LIV.5, LVI.13, LVI.14 and LVI1.16 published 1898
  3. ^ "History". Island Bar and Restaurant. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  4. ^ "Piper's Island plan hits choppy waters". Reading Post. S&B media. 21 October 2004. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  5. ^ "Pipers Island throws open its doors". Reading Post. S&B media. 15 June 2006. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  6. ^ a b c A history of Eton College, 1440-1884, 1889, Sir H. C. Maxwell-Lyte https://archive.org/details/historyofetoncol00maxwuoft
  7. ^ "Piper's Island Bar". Waterscape.com. British Waterways. Archived from the original on 1 October 2009. Retrieved 10 July 2012.

External links edit

Next island upstream River Thames Next island downstream
St Mary's Island Pipers Island Fry's Island

51°27′57″N 0°58′35″W / 51.4657°N 0.9765°W / 51.4657; -0.9765