Thursday, 16 July 2009

Some Rivers in Devon

The River Axe is a river in Dorset, Somerset and Devon, in the south-west of England. It rises near Beaminster in Dorset, flows west then south by Axminster and joins the English Channel at Axmouth near Seaton. During its 22-mile (35 km) course it is fed by various streams and by the tributary rivers Yarty and Coly.
It is a shallow, non-navigable river, although its mouth at Axmouth has some boating activity.
Fish include brown trout, dace, roach and occasional salmon.

Source of the River Aune/Avon, bog on Dartmoor

The River Avon, also known as the River Aune, is a river in the county of Devon in the south of England. It rises in the southern half of Dartmoor National Park in an area of bog to the west of Ryder's Hill. Close to where the river leaves Dartmoor a dam was built in 1957 to form the Avon reservoir. After leaving the moor it passes through South Brent and then Avonwick and Aveton Gifford and flows into the sea at Bigbury on Sea.
The River Dart is a river in Devon, England which rises high on Dartmoor, and releases to the sea at Dartmouth. Its valley and surrounding area is a place of great natural beauty.

The river begins as two separate branches (the East Dart and West Dart), which join at Dartmeet. The paths along these rivers offer very attractive walking, and there are several small waterfalls. The rivers are crossed by a number of clapper bridges, notably at the hamlet of Postbridge.

Clapper Bridge Postbridge

After leaving the moor, the Dart flows southwards past Buckfast Abbey and through the towns of Buckfastleigh, Dartington and Totnes. At Totnes, where there is a seventeenth century weir (rebuilt in the 1960s), it becomes tidal, and there are no bridges below the town.
The River Dart showing the lower part of the fish ladder near Buckfastleigh.

A passenger ferry operates across the river from the village of Dittisham to a point adjacent to the Greenway Estate. Formerly the home of the late crime writer Agatha Christie, this has stunning views across the river, and the house and gardens are now owned by the National Trust
and are open to the public.

The Dart estuary is a large ria and is popular for sailing.

Kingswear showing castle

The village of Kingswear and town of Dartmouth are on the east and west sides of the estuary, and are linked by two vehicle ferries and a passenger ferry. The deep water port of Dartmouth is a sheltered haven.
The entrance to the river from the sea is a rocky entrance with cliffs either side. On the East side Kingswear Castle sits very close to the water's edge, and on the west side Dartmouth Castle is built on a rocky promontory at sea level. The castles once operated a defensive chain across the estuary, which was raised at dusk to destroy enemy ships attempting to attack the harbour. The remains of the operating mechanisms for the chain are still visible in Dartmouth castle.
The river takes its name from a Celtic word meaning 'river where oak trees grow' due to the banks of the lower Dart being covered in ancient woods of native oak.
Dartmouth and Kingswear Castles guard the mouth of the River Dart.


The River Dart facing upstream at Totnes, with Totnes Bridge in the background.

The flooded ria that forms the lower reaches of the Dart, with its deep water and steeply sloping valley sides, is a considerable barrier to crossing traffic. There are no bridges below Totnes.
At the mouth of the river, it separates the communities of Dartmouth and Kingswear. There have been proposals to bridge the river here, but these have come to nothing. Instead the two places are linked by, in order going upstream, the Lower Ferry, Passenger Ferry and Higher Ferry. The Lower and Higher ferries both carry vehicles.
Some 2.5 miles (4.0 km) upstream of Dartmouth, the Greenway Ferry carries pedestrians across the river from the village of Dittisham to Greenway Quay.
A further 5 miles (8.0 km) upstream is Totnes, where the river is spanned by two road bridges, a railway bridge and a footbridge over. Totnes Bridge is the nearest bridge to the sea and is a road bridge built in 1826-28 by Charles Fowler. Some 1,000 feet (300 m) upstream is Brutus Bridge, constructed in 1982 as part of a road traffic-relief scheme. A further 0.5 miles (0.80 km) upstream, the railway bridge carries the National Rail London to Penzance Line over the river. Immediately upstream of the railway bridge is a footbridge, built in 1993 to provide access to the Totnes (Littlehempston) terminus of the South Devon Railway.


Dartmouth Harbour, with Kingswear in the background, and river cruise boats alongside Dartmouth Town Jetty.

The lower section of the River Dart forms Dartmouth Harbour, a deep water natural harbour with a long history of maritime usage. In modern times, the port's commercial activity has declined, but it is still a busy port for local fishing vessels and a wide variety of yachts and other private boats. Several local companies specialise in shipbuilding and repairs to small tonnage craft. Dartmouth is also the home of the Britannia Royal Naval College and as a result is routinely visited by sizeable naval ships. Smaller naval tenders are often seen carrying out training exercises in the harbour and river. Large cruise ships are occasional visitors, with the largest visitor to date being the MV Royal Princess (30,277 GRT).

Upstream, the Dart is navigable to sea-going vessels as far as the weir in Totnes. The river almost dries out for 2 miles (3.2 km) below Totnes at spring tide low water, but vessels drawing up to 3 foot (0.91 m) can proceed to Totnes from one and a half hours after low water. Above the weir, the river is navigable only to small craft such as kayaks and canoes.
The East Dart River is one of the two main tributaries of the River Dart in Devon, England.
Its source is to the west of Whitehorse Hill and slightly south of Cranmere Pool on Dartmoor. It flows south and then south-west for around 9 km to reach the village of Postbridge where it is spanned by a well-known clapper bridge.
Just above Postbridge the river drops around 2 metres in a short distance and the point is referred to as "Waterfall".
It continues south past Bellever to Dartmeet where it joins the West Dart.

The West Dart River is one of the two main tributaries of the River Dart in Devon, England.
Its source is near Lower White Tor 1.5 km north of Rough Tor on Dartmoor. It flows south to Two Bridges, then south east past Hexworthy to meet the East Dart River at Dartmeet. Tributaries include the Cowsic River, the Blackbrook River, River Swincombe and the O Brook on the right bank, and the Cherry Brook on the left bank

The River Torridge is a river in Devon in England. It was the home of Tarka the Otter in Henry Williamson's book. The Torridge local government district is named after the river.

River Torridge at Hatherleigh

The river rises close to the border with Cornwall (north of the source of the River Tamar . It flows generally east, passing between East Putford and West Putford, and near Bradford it is joined by the River Waldon, then heads east past Black Torrington and Sheepwash. It is joined by the River Lew near Hatherleigh, and then by the River Okement near Meeth.

River Torridge at Dipper Mill

It then flows northwards, picking up the River Mere south of Beaford. After this it makes tight bends, and goes past Little Torrington and Great Torrington heading generally north-west. It is joined by the River Yeo at Pillmouth, and then becomes estuarine by Bideford. Between Appledore and Instow it joins the estuary of the River Taw.
The Tarka Trail walking and cycle route partly follows the course of the North Devon Railway, which, for a considerable distance, closely followed the line of the river. Around Bideford the railway crossed from one bank to the other, and the Trail provides a good vantage point for viewing the river.
The River Plym is a river in Devon, England. Its source is 450m above sea level on Dartmoor, in an upland marshy area called Plym Head. From the upper reaches which contain antiquities and mining remains the river flows roughly southwest and enters the sea near (and gives its name) to the city of Plymouth, where the settlement was historically known as Sutton. Its tidal estuary is known as the Laira. It is approximately 30km long.
The name Plym is thought to have its origins in Old English and means the 'plum tree', from a back-formation from the name of Plympton.
HMS Plym (K271), a River-class antisubmarine frigate, was named after the river during World War II. It carried out convoy escort duties in the North Atlantic and was later destroyed in the UK's first nuclear explosion.
When it was in operation, the Cann Quarry Canal left the river at Marsh Mills .
The Plym Valley Railway is a volunteer run railway which operates steam and diesel hauled train rides along a section of the Plym Valley from Marsh Mills station. The railway is currently extending its line to Plymbridge
The River Teign (pronounced /tiːn/) is a river in the county of Devon, England.
Like many Devon rivers, the Teign rises on Dartmoor, near Cranmere Pool. Its course on the moor is crossed by a clapper bridge near Teigncombe, just below the prehistoric Kestor Settlement.

It leaves the moor at its eastern side, flowing beneath Castle Drogo in a steep-sided valley. It then flows southwards at the east edge of the moor. The river becomes tidal at Newton Abbot, and reaches the English Channel at Teignmouth.
Its estuary is a large ria.
The river lends its name to several places on the map in its 50 km (31 mi) to the English Channel: Teigncombe, Drewsteignton, Teigngrace, Kingsteignton (one of England's largest villages), Bishopsteignton, Teignharvey, and Teignmouth.
Until 1827 the lowest bridge over the river was Teign Bridge at Teigngrace. When it was being rebuilt in 1815 it became apparent that at least four successive bridges had been erected at various times with or over the remains of the previous constructions. Mr. P. T. Taylor, who investigated the matter at the time, gave as his opinion that:
the last or upper work was done in the sixteenth century, and that the red bridge had been built on the salt marsh in the thirteenth century; since which time there has been an accumulation of soil to the depth of ten feet. He supposes the wooden bridge to be old as the Conquest, and the white stone bridge to have been Roman work.
One end of the Hackney Canal connected to the river.
The river has been kayaked at least from Leigh Bridge (the confluence of the North and South Teign) at SX 6835 8765 to Steps Bridge at SX 8043 8835, rated as grade 2 to 3. There is also a single high-grade, very technical drop. Near Dunsford there is a nature reserve on the east bank

The Tavy is a river on Dartmoor, Devon, England: it has given its name to the town of Tavistock and the villages of Mary Tavy and Peter Tavy. It is a tributary of the River Tamar and has as its own tributaries the:
Collybrooke River Burn River Wallabrooke River Lumburn River Walkham. At Tavistock it feeds a canal running to Morwellham Quay.

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