Sunday, 19 July 2009

Rivers in Wiltshire

The River Biss is a small river in Wiltshire, England and is a tributary of the Avon. The name is of uncertain origin; it is claimed that the word is from the Old Norse bisa, meaning "to strive".

River Biss passing under the town bridge

The Biss rises as the Biss Brook near Upton Scudamore on the western side of Salisbury Plain, and flows northwards passing Westbury towards Trowbridge.
The Baptist church at North Bradley lies close to the River Biss and in the 19th century river baptisms took place with over 2000 in attendance; the bridge here is still called 'The Baptising'.
The river enters the centre of Trowbridge from the southeast through the Biss Meadows Country Park, where local wildlife can be seen. It then flows through the Town Park, where a small constituent lake is haunt to wildfowl, before passing behind shops and industrial buildings in a Riverside Walk which was opened in 1993 by the Duke of Edinburgh. The walk is now largely an overgrown tarmac path for which improvements have been suggested. In November 2007, the District Council announced a study into implementing those improvements. Before leaving the centre of Trowbridge, the Biss flows under the Town Bridge in roughly the location of the original river crossing which gives the town its name; in this area the river is home to a species of yellow water lily known as "Brandy Bottle" after the shape of its fruit and its characteristic scent.

The lake in Trowbridge Town Park

Although Trowbridge is a former woollen cloth manufacturing town, for which a supply of water is required, the Biss was never substantial enough to satisfy the demands of that industry. However, there was an attempt to supply the town; the Trowbridge Water Company was formed and piped water was turned on in the town on 30 September 1874. Supplies were inadequate, however, and the venture failed. The company had premises in Waterworks Road, now a residential area.
On leaving the town centre, the Biss continues northwards through the Ladydown area towards Bradford on Avon, where it is a popular venue for canoeists. It is crossed by the Kennet and Avon Canal at the Biss Aqueduct before flowing into the River Avon in Widbrook Wood, south of Staverton. Here, narrowboats are made available for hire

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 Lymington River.

The River Bourne is a river in the English county of Wiltshire, and a tributary of the River Avon.
The Bourne's source is at the eastern end of the Vale of Pewsey, near the village of Burbage. The river cuts through the chalk escarpment at Collingbourne Kingston, to flow south across Salisbury Plain through the villages of Collingbourne Ducis, Tidworth, and Shipton Bellinger. Here its course becomes more south-westerly, through Cholderton, Newton Tony, Allington, Porton, Winterbourne Gunner, Winterbourne Dauntsey, Winterbourne Earls and Laverstock before joining the Avon near Salisbury. Due to its nature it may be referred to as a chalk stream.
The Bourne valley is followed for its entire length by the main A338 (Oxford-Bournemouth) road, which continues south of Salisbury along the Avon valley

The River Churn is one of the Cotswold rivers that feeds into the River Thames catchment. It arises at Seven Springs (on the A436 road) near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England and flows south across the Cotswold dip slope, passing through Cirencester and joining the River Thames near Cricklade in Wiltshire. Its length from source to confluence with the Thames is considerably greater than the Thames itself from source to the same confluence but, historically, the Churn is a regarded as a tributary. The length of the River Churn is approximately 25 kilometres.
The name Churn is ancient, certainly pre-Roman and probably has its origins in the Celtic language, spoken by the Dobunni tribe, who controlled the area before the Roman conquest in the 1st Century. The original name may have sounded similar to Korinn. It has been suggested that the origin of the word is associated with the ancient British Cornovii tribe.
Cognate names and name elements from the area are Cerney, Ciren and Corin as found in the villages of North Cerney, South Cerney, and Cerney Wick, modern Cirencester, and the Roman town name Corinium. All these places are on or close to the River Churn. The Coln and the Thames both feed the waters of the Western component of the Cotswold Water Park, which is made up of redundant gravel beds and is situated between Cirencester and Cricklade.
Much of the catchment basin of the River Churn is known to have been an important Roman settlement area in the second to fourth centuries AD. Literature references in Ptolemy as well as architectural finds at Cirencester, Calcot Manor and other locations produce abundant evidence of not only settlement by also an advanced road system.

The River Cole is a tributary of the River Thames in England which flows through Wiltshire and Oxfordshire, where it forms part of the border between the two counties.

Wiltshire and Berkshire Canal

The river rises near Swindon at the springs which fed the old Wilts and Berks Canal at Marshgate. The precise location is unknown as much of the upper course has been culverted and built over. The first signs of its existence can be seen just prior to entering the Greenbridge retail park where it flows easterly through it. From there it is culverted, across to Oxford Road where it turns south for approximately three quarters of a mile. At the Piccadilly roundabout it turns abruptly east and skirts the Coleview Estate. It flows east past Covingham and under Merlin Way through the flood marsh and out under the A419. It runs to the east of the town through Stratton St Margaret, South Marston and Coleshill, Oxfordshire. It joins the Thames near Lechlade from the southern bank near the A417 bridge on the reach above Buscot Lock. The river flows through National Trust land with many mills adjacent to it which over the years have done much damage to the river, straightening it and polluting it.

The River Nadder is one of the chalk stream rivers of southern England, much sought after by fly fishermen because of its clear waters and abundance of brown trout. It is one of the main tributaries of the River Avon, rising from a number of springs and small streams at Donhead St. Mary in south Wiltshire. The river winds its way east-northeast, heading towards the medieval cathedral city of Salisbury.

The river Nadder at the Palledin at Wilton House

During the course of its 32 kilometre journey the Nadder meanders and widens gradually until it flows through the park of Wilton House to the west of Salisbury after which the river joins the River Wylye, another tributary of the Avon. For its last few kilometres it passes through the unspoilt water meadows at Harnham on the outskirts of the city, and finally into the River Avon beneath a backdrop of the magnificent Salisbury Cathedral spire.

The River Ray is a tributary of the River Thames in England which flows through Wiltshire.
The river rises at Wroughton to south of Swindon and runs to the west of the town via Shaw. It joins the Thames on the southern bank near Cricklade just upstream of Water Eaton House Bridge. The river has been subject to a restoration project run by the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. The final stage completed in December 2007 was to build a tunnel near the Great Western Way at Rivermead to allow the nine species of fish to travel the length of the river without obstruction.

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