In the beginning.
Woolly Mammoth
The Thames has been running in its present course for about 8,000 years, after the end of the last ice age, but evidence of human occupation in this area goes back much further. Stone hand-axes dating back 250,000 years have been found in the gravel beds that line this part of the Thames Valley - they would have been used by hunters to cut up meat from animals such as mammoths, one of whose tusks has been found in the gravel pit beyond Dean's Farm.