Saturday, 1 August 2009

Rivers of Gloucestershire

The River Eye is a river in the Cotswold District of Gloucestershire which flows through the villages of Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter

River Eye at Upper Slaughter

River Eye at Lower Slaughter

The River Trym is a small river running through very varied landscapes in Bristol, a city in the southwest of England. It flows into the River Avon at Sea Mills.

It rises near Filton, South Gloucestershire, and much of its upper course is culverted. It surfaces in the Bristol suburb of Southmead, then flows open through the historic centre of Westbury on Trym village/suburb. In wet weather, its tributary the Hazel Brook forms a ford in the traffic artery Henbury Road, and then runs in a limestone gorge through the picturesque Blaise Castle Estate. The two streams unite above Coombe Dingle, and the combined river used to drive mills at Millpill, Sea Mills, on record since the fifteenth century. At the confluence of the Trym with the Avon was the Roman port and small town of Abona, which took its name from the main river (and it simply means 'river' in British Celtic). An attempt was made in 1712 by the entrepreneur Joshua Franklin to open a commercial dock at the mouth of the Trym, on the Roman site, approximately where the above image shows, but the venture foundered after a few decades.
Westbury on Trym takes part of its name from the River Trym to distinguish it from Westbury on Severn, which is also in historic Gloucestershire.

The flow of the river has decreased in power in recent years, partly because of surface run-off in the upper catchment of the Hazel Brook, especially from the large retail centre at Cribbs Causeway, which sends a good deal of silt into the system, slowing the flow and creating a risk of flooding downstream. This problem has now been partially alleviated by the construction of the Catbrain attenuation reservoir near Cribbs Causeway (Bristol Living Rivers Project: River Trym and Hazel Brook).

Mogford, Ernest H. (1954) The history, survey and description from earliest times of Westbury-on-Trym. [Privately published.]
Smith, A.H. (1964) The place-names of Gloucestershire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, vol. 3.
Bristol Living Rivers Project - water quality: watercourses: River Trym and Hazel Brook

The River Windrush is a river in the English Cotswolds, forming part of the River Thames catchment.
The Windrush starts in the Cotswold Hills in Gloucestershire northeast of Taddington, which is north of Guiting Power, Temple Guiting, Ford and Cutsdean. It flows for about 40 miles (64 km) through Bourton-on-the-Water, and the village of Windrush, into Oxfordshire and through Burford, Witney, Ducklington and Standlake. It meets the Thames at Newbridge upstream of Northmoor Lock.
The river is host to fish, including trout, grayling, perch, chub, roach and dace. It held good populations of native crayfish until at least the 1980s. River waters were used in cloth and woollen blanket making in Witney from mid 17th century.
In 2007, the Windrush was one of many rivers in the area to flood. Towns and villages along the entire length of the river were affected, but particular problems were caused in Witney, which was cut in half by the closure of the only bridge across the river.

The River Wye (Welsh: Afon Gwy) is the fifth-longest river in the UK and for parts of its length forms part of the border between England and Wales. It is important for nature conservation and recreation.


The source of the Wye is in the Welsh mountains at Plynlimon.

River Wye at Symonds Yat Rock

It flows through or past several towns and villages including Rhayader, Builth Wells,

Builth Bridge across River Wye

River wye at Hay -on- Wye

Hay-on-Wye, Hereford, Ross-on-Wye, Symonds Yat, Monmouth and Tintern, meeting the Severn estuary just below Chepstow.

River Wye at Chepstoe showing Castle and Bridge

The Wye itself is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and one of the most important rivers in the UK for nature conservation.

Map of River Wye Course

Much of the lower valley is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Wye is largely unpolluted and is therefore considered one of the best rivers for salmon fishing in the United Kingdom, outside of Scotland.
It is also a popular river with canoeists due to the relatively slow flowing water, making it good for beginners.

River Wye Bottom Wave Rapids

The Symonds Yat Rapids are more challenging. Walkers can enjoy the Wye Valley Walk which follows the route of the River Wye from Hay-on-Wye to Chepstow along a series of well maintained way-marked paths.

River Wye near Locksters Pool

Wye Valley Walk beside Afon Hore

The lower 16 miles (26 km) of the river from Redbrook to Chepstow form the border between England and Wales.

A map showing River Wye location
A viewpoint near The Biblins on the Wye is
known as 'Three Counties View', the meeting place of the counties of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire.

The Wye's tributaries include the rivers Lugg, Elan, Irfon, Monnow, Trothy, Ithon, Llynfi, Letton Lake, Tarennig (the Wye's first tributary) and Bidno.

River Wye tributary River Monnow at Monnow Bridge


River Wye Basin

Coleford, Monmouth, Usk & Pontypool Railway Monmouth Troy Ross and Monmouth Railway River Wye Wyesham Halt Wyesham Junction for Coleford Railway Welsh/English border Redbrook on Wye River Wye (Welsh/English border) Penallt Halt Whitebrook Halt St. Briavels Llandogo Halt Brockweir Halt Tintern River Wye (Welsh/English border) Tintern tunnel Tintern Wireworks Branch Tidenham tunnel Netherhope Halt Tidenham Gloucester to Newport Line Wye Valley Junction Tutshill Halt Chepstow East River Wye (Welsh/English border) Chepstow Gloucester to Newport Line

The Romans constructed a bridge of wood and stone just upstream of present day Chepstow.

Map of River Wye up to Monmouth

The River Wye was and still is navigable up to Monmouth at least since the early 14th century. It was improved from there to a short distance below Hereford by Sir William Sandys in the early 1660s with locks to enable vessels to pass weirs. According to Herefordshire Council Archaeology, these were flash locks. The work proved to be insufficiently substantial and in 1696 a further Act of Parliament authorised the County of Hereford to buy up and demolish the mills on the Wye and Lugg. All locks and weirs were removed, except that at New Weir Forge below Goodrich, which survived until about 1815. This was paid for by a tax on the County. Weirs were removed all along the Wye in Herefordshire, making the river passable to the western boundary, and beyond it at least to Hay on Wye. A horse towing path was added in 1808, but only up to Hereford; previously, as on the River Severn, barges were man-hauled. Money was spent several times improving the River Lugg from Leominster to its confluence with the Wye at Mordiford, but its navigation is likely to have been difficult. The Wye remained commercially navigable until the 1850s, when commercial traffic moved to railways. It is still used by pleasure craft.

Cultural references
The Romantic poet William Wordsworth includes an apostrophe to the Wye in his famous poem "Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey" published 1798 in Lyrical Ballads.
How oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee, O sylvan Wye! thou wanderer thro' the woods,How often has my spirit turned to thee!

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