River Thames frost fairs
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
River Thames frost fairs were held on the Tideway of the River Thames at London between the 15th and 19th centuries when the river froze over. During that time the British winter was more severe than now, and the river was wider and slower.
During the Great Frost of 1683–84, the worst frost recorded in England, the Thames was completely frozen for two months, with the ice reaching a thickness of 11 inches (28 cm) in London. Solid ice was reported extending for miles off the coasts of the southern North Sea (England, France and the Low Countries), causing severe problems for shipping and preventing the use of many harbours.