Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Hampshire Rivers 1

The River Avon is a river in the counties of Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset in the south of England, sometimes distinguished as the Salisbury Avon or the Hampshire Avon.

The river's name is a tautology: Avon is derived from the Proto-Brythonic word meaning "river", and therefore the river's name means River River.

River Avon at Salisbury

The Avon rises in Wiltshire east of Devizes, draining the Vale of Pewsey. From here it cuts through the chalk scarp at Upavon, flowing southwards across Salisbury Plain through Durrington, Amesbury and Salisbury. To the south of Salisbury it enters the Hampshire Basin, flowing along the western edge of the New Forest through Fordingbridge and Ringwood, meeting up with the river Stour at Christchurch, to flow into Christchurch Harbour and the English Channel at Mudeford.

Rivers Avon and Stour meet and flow into Christchurch Harbour

All the significant tributaries of the Avon including the Nadder, Wylye, Bourne and Ebble converge within a short distance around Salisbury.
For part of its path it forms the border between Dorset and Hampshire. Prior to the 1974 reorganization of local government the whole of the section now in or bordering Dorset was
wholly within Hampshire, leading to the river being popularly known as the Hampshire Avon.
The Avon Valley Path goes from Salisbury to

A view of the River Avon in Hampshire near Fordingbridge.

Map of the Avon Valley Path

Rights of Use
The public have right of way to use established footpaths across private land in England. No such general right of way exists for the navigability of rivers on private land. Canoeists seeking legitimate access to the Avon have recently identified a long-forgotten Act in their favour. The "Act for making the River Avon navigable from Christchurch to the city of New Sarum" was enacted in 1664 under Charles II. Cases have yet to come to court

The River Wey in Surrey, Hampshire and West Sussex is a tributary of the River Thames with two separate branches which join at Tilford. The source of the north branch is at Alton, Hampshire and of the south branch at Blackdown south of Haslemere. The Wey has a total catchment area of 904 square kilometres (350 sq mi), draining parts of Surrey, Hampshire and West Sussex. It joins the River Thames near Weybridge, which is named after the river, just downstream of Shepperton Lock.


Wey North
The Wey North branch rises in Alton in Hampshire and runs eastwards through Upper Froyle and Bentley, turning southwards at Farnham to Tilford. The catchment of this branch was originally the upper catchment of the Blackwater, which then ran northwards through what is now Farnham. The Wey captured the Blackwater near Tilford; the capture extended downstream to Farnham, thus reversing the flow to southwards between Farnham and Tilford. The Blackwater remains as a much shorter river to the north of Farnham, with a wind gap (empty valley) between it and the Wey.
Wey South
The Wey South branch rises at Black Down near Haslemere and runs through Liphook, Bramshott, Bordon, Lindford and Frensham to Tilford. Tributaries of this branch are Cooper's Stream and the River Slea.
Wey combined
From Tilford the river runs by Elstead, Eashing, Godalming, Peasmarsh, Shalford, Guildford, Old Woking, Pyrford, Byfleet, Addlestone and Weybridge. From Godalming the river is intertwined with the Wey and Godalming Navigations.
The River Ock joins at Godalming, Cranleigh Waters and the River Tillingbourne at Shalford and the Hoe Stream at Woking.
The 19½ mile towpath of the navigable section is open to walkers.

History On the Wey.

Eashing mediaeval double bridge built by monks from Waverley Abbey

Bankfull River Wey near Pyrford where it is separate from the Wey Navigation Canal

During the seventeenth century the river was made navigable to Guildford and extended in the eighteenth century to Godalming. The Basingstoke Canal and Wey and Arun Junction Canal were later connected to the river. The navigable sections are now owned by the National Trust. See Wey and Godalming Navigations for more about these navigations.
The river has long been used as a source of power for mills, and many are recorded in the Domesday Book. At one point there were 22 mills on the river, and more on its tributaries. At various times they have been used for grinding grains, fulling wool, rolling oats, crushing cattle cake, leather dressing, paper production and gunpowder manufacture. Willey Mill was still in use in 1953.

There has been a mill on the site of Guildford Town Mill since at least 1649. From 1770, an additional water wheel was being used to pump water to the town reservoir on Pewley Down. This was replaced by two water turbines in 1896, then a single turbine in 1930, in use until 1952 when itself replaced by electric pumps nearby. In 2003, Guildford Borough Council arranged for the refurbishment and installation of an identical turbine as an example of renewable energy. Rather than pumping water, this turbine drives a generator to supply up to 260,000 kWH of electricity into the National Grid, annually. The turbine came on-line in 2006. (The 1930 turbine has since been preserved, and may be viewed at Dapdune Wharf

The Bourne Rivulet is a river in the English county of Hampshire. It is a tributary of the River Test.
The Bourne Rivulet (known simply as 'The Bourne' locally) is a seasonal chalk stream that rises and falls with the natural water table in the area. It usually rises in January and flows until around August each year. It normally runs from the village of Upton and flows through the villages of Hurstbourne Tarrant, St Mary Bourne and Hurstbourne Priors before joining with the River Test near Tufton.

River Wylye at Norton Bravant

The River Wylye (pronounced 'Why-lee') is a classic southern England chalk stream; champagne clear water flowing over gravel. Consequently, it is popular with anglers keen on fly fishingCourseIt rises just south of Maiden Bradley and after flowing through the Deverill valley, forms the southern edge of Warminster. It then heads generally east south east, forming the Wylye Valley, into which the A36 road and the Wessex Main Line are also squeezed. The river passes through the parishes of Norton Bavant, Heytesbury, Knook, Upton Lovell, Boyton, Codford, Wylye and Wilton, near the southern edge of Salisbury Plain, and is fed by ephemeral, winterbourne streams so water flow can vary.
The river forms part of the River Avon catchment. At Wilton it joins the River Nadder and eventually drains to the sea at Christchurch as part of the River Avon.

Wylye Valley
The Wylye valley is a picturesque valley dotted with small chocolate box villages composed of thatched cottages and stone-built pubs.

Ashton Gifford in the Domesday Book

River Wylye passes Ashton Gifford House

Ashton Gifford is covered in the Domesday Book, listed as land belonging to Humphrey de l'Isle. The land was held by Robert, previously (under King Edward) having been held by Cynewig. Ashton Gifford was a relatively prosperous estate, valued at six pounds (from four pounds in 1066). The estate consisted of 12 acres (49,000 m2) of meadow, and pasture "6 furlongs long and as much broad".
The site of the Anglo Saxon settlement can be seen in the field to the south of the current Ashton Gifford House, where different patches of colour in the earth indicate the presence of Anglo Saxon houses.

The enclosure of Ashton Gifford
An Act of Enclosure was passed for the "Tything of Ashton Gifford, in the Parish of Codford Saint Peter" on 27 May 1814. This allowed for the enclosure of lands in the hamlet, naming William Hubbard Esq., William Hinton Esq., and Sarah Bingham Spinster as the owners under the Lord of the Manor of Codford St Peter (Harry Biggs Esq.). Three "gentlemen" were appointed Commissioners for the enclosure: John Hayward of Rowde, John Rogers of Burcombe and Ambrose Patient of Corton. The Commissioners were instructed to meet at "a certain House called the George Inn in Codford Saint Peter aforesaid". The George still exists, as the George Hotel, in Codford High Street, though it was rebuilt in the later 19th century

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