- River Stour, Kent
river_name = River Stour
caption = River Stour and Tributaries
watershed = The River Stour (IPAEng|ˈstaʊə) is a the generic name for a group of rivers in
Kent, England. The Stour has Kent's second largest catchment area (the River Medwayhaving the largest). Both Ashfordand Canterburyare situated on it.
The lower half of the river is tidal; its original mouth was on the
Wantsum Channel, an important sea route in medieval times. The river has three major tributaries, and many minor ones. For much of its length it and flows in a generally south-west to north-east direction.
Course of the river
The source, of what is known at that point as the Great Stour, is near
Lenham, within a short distance of the River Len, a tributary of the Medway. That source is on the Greensand ridge and at first the river flows along the Low Weald valley at the foot of the ridge in a southeastward direction: three small streams enter from the north, having their headwaters on the ridge, before reaching a point where the river turns to the north east.
The town of
Ashfordmarks the start of the middle section of the river, and the point where the several tributaries enter, the largest of which is the East Stour river from its source near Hythe. Now the Stour breaches the North Downs; for most of this distance there are no tributaries. After the Brook stream enters from the right there is now fifteen miles (24km) to Canterbury, where the river flows past the north end of the city. Fordwich, three miles (4.8km) further still, is the upper limit to which tides reach.
Beyond Fordwich, at the hamlet of
Plucks Gutter,TR 26943 63444 Coord|51.32480|1.25590|display=inline|format=dms the second of the large tributaries enters the main river: the 18.9 mile (30.2km) River Little Stour, which begins life as the springfed NailbourneStream. The twin villages in the parish of Stourmouth(West and East) mark the original point where the Stour entered the erstwhile Wantsum Channel, a straitused for hundreds of years until silting and land reclamation turned the sea channel into a large drainage ditch. At this point the third large tributary, the 8.4 mile (13.4km) Sarre Penn(named locally as the ‘’Fishbourne Stream’’) enters with the Wantsum Channel .Here the river turns southwards and, after making a loop to take it in a northward direction, it enters the Strait of Doverat Pegwell Bay. The "Stonar Cut" obviates the need for seagoing craft to take the longer route around the loop.
From the tidal limit at Fordwich to the sea the river is fringed with marshes. Most of them are located on what was the floor of the Wantsum Channel, whilst those to the south lie behind the sand dunes of the Sandwich Flats. These marshes are criss-crossed with drainage ditches. The principal marshes are those of Chislet, within the ancient estuary of the river; Wade, west of
Birchington; and Ash Level.
The Stonar Cut
In the mid-18th century it became necessary to alleviate the problem of flooding along the lower course of the Stour. The action of tidal drift of shingle along the coast had resulted in the huge loop at the estuary end of the river, and on 29th November 1774 an
Act of Parliamentwas passed to bypass the loop at it narrowest end, at Stonar. The works, to become known as the "Stonar Cut", made use of an existing sluice to cut across the neck of the loop, and were completed in 1776.
WWIhuge volumes of both troops and supplies were needed on the Continent and, in the utmost secrecy, a new port was built at Richborough. Landing facilities along the Cut were built, and the East Kent Light Railwaywas extended to service the port. Nothing now remains of much of those works, and the Cut has been allowed to return to its natural state. [ [http://www.thanetarch.co.uk/Virtual%20Museum/2_Galleries/G11%20Content/Virtual_Museum_Gallery_11_Display_1.html Museuam of Thanet] ]
Settlements on the river vary in size. The four most important are Ashford, sited at a crossing point of the river and on ancient track ways;
Canterbury, at a junction of four Roman roads, where their Watling Streetconnected with the sea; Fordwich, the outportof Canterbury and tidal limit; and the once-thriving port of Sandwich. The villages of Wye, Chilhamand Charthamlie on the stretch through the North Downs gap, Wye being a fordable crossing. Beyond Fordwich are the smaller settlements of Westbereand Chislet; and Stourmouth.
*(a) tributaries of the East Stour
*(b) or "Spiders Castle Dyke"
*(c) or "Pen Lee"
*(d) the upper reaches of the Little Stour; some sections dry much of the time
*(e) tributary of the Little Stour
*(f) flows into River Wantsum
In Roman and medieval times the river was an important highway, connecting Canterbury with the Continent. Fordwich became important to shipping after the silting up of the southern entrance to the English Channel.
Joseph Priestleywrote his ‘’Historical Account of the Navigable Rivers, Canals and Railways’’ [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=eUqIucVmZjwC&pg=PA131&lpg=PA131&dq=river+stour+priestley+1831&source=web&ots=DsBV9_9VM-&sig=01dHiGi95Txo-Nt-mv7ib9AVCrs Canterbury Navigation, or River Stour, Josephn Priestley 1831] ] . In it he described in one section the ‘’Canterbury Navigation, or River Stour’’. He includes an account of its course and the improvements being carried out at that time to assist navigation, and details of new port facilities.
Both roads and railways make use of the river. The Watling Street link to
Richborough(’’Rutupiae’’) and their link from Canterbury southwards made use of the North Downs gap. The rail links from Canterbury to the Isle of Thanetand also to Ashford, and the main A28 roadfollow identical routes.
The 51.5 mile (82.4km)
Stour Valley Walkfollows the river for much of its length [ [http://www.kent.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/explore-kent/walking-cycling-and-riding/stour-valley-walk.htm Stour Valley Walk] ] .
Rivers of the United Kingdom
Rivers of Kent
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
River Stour (Kent) — Flusssystem des River Stour im Osten Kents Eine der vielen Wassermühlen entlang d … Deutsch Wikipedia
River Len, Kent — Geobox|River name = Len native name = other name = other name1 = image size = 250px image caption = Kent rivers, showing the Len. etymology = country = England country1 = state = state1 = region = Kent region1 = district = Maidstone district1 =… … Wikipedia
River Stour — Stour is the name of several rivers in England:*River Stour, Dorset *River Stour, Kent. The source rivers are: River East Stour, River Upper Great Stour, River Great Stour, River Little Stour *River Stour, Suffolk *River Stour, Warwickshire… … Wikipedia
Stour — River Stour ist der Name verschiedener Flüsse in England: River Stour, East Anglia (Suffolk) River Stour (Worcestershire) (Worcestershire) River Stour (Warwickshire) (Warwickshire) River Stour (Kent) mit seinen Quellflüssen River East Stour,… … Deutsch Wikipedia
River Great Stour — Infobox River river name = River Great Stour image size = caption = River Stour and Tributaries origin = Ashford TR 01539 42793 Coord|51.14890|0.88020|display=inline|format=dms mouth = River Stour TR 26943 63444… … Wikipedia
River Great Stour — Río Great Stour (River Great Stour) Mapa del River Stour y sus afluentes. País que atraviesa … Wikipedia Español
River Little Stour — Infobox River river name = River Little Stour image size = caption = River Stour and Tributaries origin = Littlebourne mouth = River Great Stour basin countries = length = elevation = mouth elevation = discharge = watershed = The River Little… … Wikipedia
Stour watermills — for centuries as a source of power. Many different processes were performed by the use of water power: Corn milling, fulling, paper making and electricity generation. Many of the mills survive today as house conversions, with two of them still… … Wikipedia
River Upper Great Stour — Infobox River river name = River Upper Great Stour image size = caption = River Stour and Tributaries origin = Lenham mouth = River Great Stour basin countries = length = elevation = mouth elevation = discharge = watershed = The River Upper Great … Wikipedia
Kent — County of Kent redirects here. For other uses, see Kent County (disambiguation). For other uses, see Kent (disambiguation). Kent Invicta Motto of County … Wikipedia