- River Wey
name = Wey
image_caption = River Wey near its north source at Farringdon,
country = England
region_type = Counties
district_type = Districts / Boroughs
city_type = Towns
Surrey Hills AONB
watershed = 904
source_location = Farringdon /
Hampshire/ West Sussex
tributary_left1 = River Ock
The River Wey in
Surrey, Hampshireand West Sussexis a tributary of the River Thameswith two separate branches which join at Tilford. The source of the north branch is at Alton, Hampshireand of the south branch at Blackdownsouth of Haslemere. The Wey has a total catchment area of 904 km2, draining parts of Surrey, Hampshireand West Sussex. [cite web | title=About the Wey Catchment Abstraction Management Strategy | work=The Environment Agency website | url=http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/regions/thames/323150/323314/176905/315312/ | accessdate=2007-10-23] It joins the River Thames below Shepperton Locknear Weybridgewhich is named after the river.
The Wey North branch rises in Alton in Hampshire and runs eastwards through
Upper Froyleand Bentley, turning southwards at Farnhamto Tilford. [ [http://www.weyriver.co.uk/theriver The River Wey and Wey Navigations Community Site] ] 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.
The Wey South branch rises at
Black Downnear Haslemereand runs through Liphook, Bramshott, Bordon, Lindfordand Frenshamto Tilford. Tributaries of this branch are Cooper's Stream and the River Slea. [ [http://www.weyriver.co.uk/theriver The River Wey and Wey Navigations Community Site] ]
From Tilford the river runs by
Elstead, Eashing, Godalming, Peasmarsh, Shalford, Guildford, Old Woking, Pyrford, Byfleet, Addlestoneand Weybridge. From Godalming the river is intertwined with the Wey and Godalming Navigations. [ [http://www.weyriver.co.uk/theriver The River Wey and Wey Navigations Community Site] ]
The River Ock joins at Godalming,
Cranleigh Watersand the River Tillingbourneat Shalford and the Hoe Stream at Woking.
The 19½ mile towpath of the navigable section is open to walkers.
During the seventeenth century the river was made navigable to
Guildfordand extended in the eighteenth century to Godalming. The Basingstoke Canaland Wey and Arun Junction Canalwere later connected to the river. The navigable sections are now owned by the National Trust. "See Wey and Godalming Navigationsfor 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. [cite web | title=All About Watermills & Their Millers | work=The River Wey & Navigations website | url=http://www.weyriver.co.uk/theriver/industry_2_watermills.htm | accessdate=2007-10-23]
There has been a mill on the site of
GuildfordTown Mill since at least 1649.cite web | title = Hydro Tour Information Sheet | work = | publisher = Guildford Borough Council| date =
url = http://www.guildford.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/9B9980FE-7332-423B-8922-B0B6DBBF6777/0/HydroTourInformationSheet.pdf | format = PDF | accessdate =2008-04-04 ] From 1770, an additional
water wheelwas 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. [cite web | title = Guildford Borough Council wins "green" award for commitment to renewable energy for the hydro project | work = | publisher = Government Office for the South East| date = 13 November 2006
url = http://www.go-se.gov.uk/gose/news/newsarchive/467693/ | accessdate =2008-04-04 ] (The 1930 turbine has since been preserved, and may be viewed at
Much of the upper reaches of the river is within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The river passes through a variety of habitats including heathland, woodland and watermeadow, resulting in a broad diversity of wildlife. There are numerous Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Nature Reserves along the river. There are many angling clubs along the river, and healthy stocks of many species of fish including Chub, Barbel, Roach, Pike, Bream, Carp, Perch and Eels.
Canals of the United Kingdom
List of rivers in England
* [http://byfleetboatclub.com Byfleet Boat Club]
* [http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/places/riverwey/ Dapdune Wharf and River Wey Navigations]
* [http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/subjects/flood/floodwarning/S03 River Wey Catchment Flood Warnings]
* [http://www.guildfordrowingclub.org.uk/ Guildford Rowing Club]
* [http://www.weykayak.co.uk/ Wey Kayak Club]
* [http://www.weyriver.co.uk/theriver The River Wey and Wey Navigations Community Site]
River item line|upstream=
Wey and Godalming Navigations(south)
downstream=River Ash (north)
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