Wednesday, 24 June 2009

County Hampshire: Rivers: 3

River Test at Romsey

The River Test is a river in Hampshire, England. The river has a total length of 40 miles (64 km) and it flows through downland from its source near Ashe 10km to the west of
Basingstoke (at grid reference SU532498) to the sea at the head of Southampton Water.
In its upper reaches it is a chalk stream, known throughout the world for the excellent quality of its fly fishing for trout.

The river rises near the village of Ashe, and flows west through the villages of Overton, Laverstoke, and the town of Whitchurch, before joining with the Bourne Rivulet at Testbourne and turning into a more southerly direction. It then flows through the villages of Longparish and Middleton to Wherwell and Chilbolton, where the Rivers Dever and Anton contribute to the flow. From Chilbolton the river flows through the villages of Leckford, Longstock, Stockbridge and Houghton to Mottisfont and Kimbridge, where the River Dun joins the flow. From here the village of Timsbury is passed, then through the grounds of Roke Manor before reaching the town of Romsey. On the western edge of Romsey, Sadler's Mill, an 18th Century watermill, sits astride the River Test.

Postcard of the River Test 1800

South of Romsey, the river flows past the country house of Broadlands, past Nursling that was once the site of a Roman bridge, and between Totton and Redbridge. Here the river is joined by the River Blackwater and soon becomes tidal, widening out into a considerable estuary that is lined on its northern bank by the container terminals and quays of the Port of Southampton. Finally the Test estuary meets that of the River Itchen and the two continue to the sea as Southampton Water.

River Test at Fullerton

Between Chilbolton and Redbridge, the river was once paralleled by the abandoned Andover Canal. Much of the length of this canal was converted to a railway in 1865, and much of this railway has since also been abandoned. As a result, most traces of the canal have completely disappeared, although the remains of a stretch of the canal can still be seen between Timsbury and Romsey.
The river is managed by the Environment Agency, whilst the Port of Southampton is the navigation authority for the tidal section below Redbridge.
The River Test has given its name to the Test Valley District, a local government district in the area, and to Southampton Test, a UK Parliament constituency.

River Test at Southampton Waters

River Blackwater at Eversleigh
The River Blackwater is a river in the English counties of Hampshire and Wiltshire. It is a tributary of the River Test.
The river rises just to the east of the Wiltshire village of Redlynch. It then flows east across the county boundary into Hampshire. Here it flows north of the village of Wellow and Wigley before joining the Test between Totton and Redbridge.
This River Blackwater should not be confused with the River Blackwater in north-east Hampshire, which is a tributary of the River Loddon and (indirectly) of the River Thames.
Another similarly named waterway in Hampshire is Black Water. Black Water is a small stream which flows eastwards across the New Forest, passing under Rhinefield Ornamental Drive, before joining Ober Water and Highland Water just north of Brockenhurst to form the Lemmington River.

River Itchen at Ovington

The River Itchen is a river in Hampshire, England. It flows from mid-Hampshire to join with Southampton Water in the city of Southampton. The river has a total length of 28 miles (45 km), and is noted as one of England's - if not one of the World's - premier chalk streams for fly fishing, especially using dry fly or nymphing techniques. It is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is noted for its high quality habitats, supporting a range of protected species including the threatened water vole, otter, brook lamprey and white-clawed crayfish.
The river is managed by the Environment Agency, whilst the Port of Southampton is the navigation authority for the tidal section below Swaythling.
During Roman Britain, the river may have been associated with the Celtic goddess Ancasta.


'The Weirs' on the Itchen in Winchester.

The tidal river - the Itchen Bridge can be seen in the distance.The source of the Itchen is situated just south of the village of Cheriton. Initially the river flows north, through the villages of Cheriton and Tichborne, before joining up with its tributaries the River Alre and the Candover Brook, just below the town of New Alresford.
The river then flows west down the upper Itchen Valley passing the villages of Avington, Itchen Stoke, Itchen Abbas, Martyr Worthy, Easton, and Abbots Worthy. Before entering the historic city of Winchester it crosses Winnall Moors.
The river flows in several different channels through the city of Winchester, some of which come close enough to Winchester Cathedral to have caused serious problems to the building's foundations in earlier years. The main channel flows through Winchester City Mill and to the east of the city's Roman walls, along a promenaded reach known as 'The Weirs'.
The river then heads south, through a series of water meadows, passing the Hospital of St Cross, the villages of Twyford and Shawford, between the town of Eastleigh and the village of Bishopstoke and through Itchen Valley Country Park before reaching the northern suburbs of Southampton at Mansbridge. Between Winchester and Mansbridge, sections of the river were once deepened or widened as part of the long disused Itchen Navigation, and the former towpath forms part of the Itchen Way.

River Itchen at Southampton showing the Itchen Bridge

Monks Brook at Chandler's Ford

Monks Brook flows into the Itchen at Swaythling, and the river then passes under Woodmill Bridge and becomes tidal. Four further bridges cross the river before its confluence with the River Test estuary in Southampton Water:

Cobden Bridge, a road bridge connecting Bitterne Park and St Denys. The bridge carrying the Southampton - Portsmouth railway line. Northam Bridge, a road bridge carrying the A3024 road from Bitterne Manor to Northam, which was opened in 1799. The Itchen Bridge, a high-level toll road bridge connecting the docks area with Woolston. This replaced the famous floating bridge (a chain ferry) which had previously crossed the river at this point. Between the latter 2 bridges, the river passes St Mary's Stadium, the home of Southampton F.C.
Monk Brook at Doncaster Drove

Monks Brook source under hedgerow

The River Loddon is a river in the English counties of Berkshire and Hampshire. It is a tributary of the River Thames, rising within the urban area of Basingstoke and flowing to meet the Thames near the village of Wargrave. The river has a total length of 28 miles (45 km) and, together with its tributaries, drains an area of 1036 km².
The River Loddon rises at West Ham Farm in Basingstoke, and in its first mile flows under the Festival Place shopping centre that forms the main part of the central area of that town.

The River Loddon at Old Basing

The river then passes close by the village of Old Basing and the ruined palace of Basing House. Leaving the environs of Basingstoke behind, the river flows north through open north Hampshire countryside and passes near by the village of Sherfield on Loddon. North of Sherfield the river passes through the ornamental grounds of Stratfield Saye House, the home of the Dukes of Wellington since 1817.

Entering Berkshire, the river passes the village of Swallowfield. Just north of Swallowfield the River Loddon is joined by the River Blackwater which adds substantially to its flow. The river then flows close to the east of the Berkshire suburbs of Earley and Woodley, to the west of Winnersh, and through Dinton Pastures Country Park. Shortly after this, near the village of Hurst it is joined by the Emm Brook. The river then flows close to the village of Twyford and is joined by the St Patrick's Stream, a backwater of the River Thames. About a mile further on it flows into the main channel of the Thames, just downstream of Shiplake Lock and close to the village of Wargrave.

Whilst chalk underlies much of the River Loddon's catchment area, it only appears at the surface at either end of the river, near Wargrave and Basingstoke. For the rest of its course the chalk lies beneath the Reading Beds and London Clay. The terrace gravels of the Loddon valley have been extracted in a number of places, including the lakes within Dinton Pastures Country Park.
The catchment area of the River Loddon encompasses urban populations in Basingstoke and eastern Reading, whilst the urban areas of Aldershot, Fleet, Camberley and Farnborough all lie within the catchment area of the tributary River Blackwater. As a consequence the Loddon receives treated sewage effluent at nine locations, one just downstream of Basingstoke, a second at Wargrave, and seven indirectly via the Blackwater

Probably being romantic here but when mist appears along a river it seems magical and that anything can happen even Vikings sailing through the mist to a town.

I hope you will bear with me featuring the rivers of the counties as it will make it easier for you to see that the Vikings could get anywhere within England by sailing up a river from the coast and many of our rivers join up making the interior easy to get to.
But you will also hear our quaint English place names many Anglo-Saxon.

This one joins the Thames and using the tributaries you can get along the south coast inland and out to sea via Southampton or vis versa on the East coast at Southend.

1 comment:

  1. Very informative post. I am particularly interested in The River Itchen. thanks