River Avon, Warwickshire


River Avon, Warwickshire

Infobox River
river_name = River Avon


image_size = 300px
caption = The River Avon by the Royal Shakespeare
Theatre
in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire
origin = Naseby, Northamptonshire
mouth = River Severn, Tewkesbury
basin_countries = England, United Kingdom
length = 154 km (96 mi)
elevation =
mouth_elevation =
discharge =
watershed =
The River Avon or Avon is a river in or adjoining the counties of Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire in the Midlands of England. It is also known as the Upper Avon, Warwickshire Avon or Shakespeare's Avon. The river has a total length of convert|96|mi|km|0. Avon is an anglicisation of the Welsh word for 'river' (spelled "afon" in Welsh)

Course

The source of the Avon is near the village of Naseby in Northamptonshire. For the first few miles of its length between Welford and the Dow Bridge on Watling Street, it forms the border between Northamptonshire and Leicestershire. On this section, it has been dammed to create Stanford Reservoir. It then flows in a generally west-southwesterly direction, not far north of the Cotswold Edge and through the Vale of Evesham, passing through the towns and villages of Welford, Rugby, Wolston, Leamington Spa, Warwick, Stratford-upon-Avon, Welford-on-Avon, Bidford-on-Avon, Evesham and Pershore, before it joins the River Severn at Tewkesbury.

The Avon's tributaries include the Rivers Leam, Stour, Sowe, Dene, Arrow, Swift, Alne, Isonbourn, Sherbourne and Swilgate as well as many minor streams and brooks.

Navigation

From Alveston weir, which is convert|2|mi|km|1 upstream of Stratford-upon-Avon, downstream to Tewkesbury and the River Severn, the river has been rendered navigable by the construction of locks and weirs. The Stratford-upon-Avon Canal links to the Avon through a lock in the park in front of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. Navigation on the River Avon is restricted to boats with a maximum length of 72 ft (21.94 m), beam of 13 ft 6 in (4.11 m), height of 10 ft (3.04 m) and draught of 4 ft (1.18 m).

Traffic is now exclusively leisure oriented. Overnight moorings are available at Stratford-upon-Avon, Luddington, Welford-on-Avon, Barton, Bidford-on-Avon,
Harvington, Offenham, Evesham, Craycombe, Wyre, Pershore, Defford, Comberton, Birlingham, Eckington, Strensham and Tewkesbury. There are boatyards at Stratford-upon-Avon, Welford-on-Avon, Barton, Bidford-on-Avon, Evesham, and Tewkesbury.

History

The navigation works on the Avon were originally authorised by an Order in Council and Letters Patent of Charles I in 1635, and by 1641 it was reported that the river was navigable to within convert|4|mi|km|0 of Warwick. It is often suggested that William Sandys (the 1635 grantee) constructed only flash locks (with a single barrier), and that Andrew Yarranton, who restored the river in the 1660s provided pound locks (with two pairs of mitred gates), but this is wrong. The evidence actually points to the reverse, namely that Yarranton put in about three navigation weirs (a type of flash lock) to overcome certain difficulties that remained; these were never adjacent to mills.

The navigation rights were confirmed by the Stour and Salwarpe Navigation Act in 1662. Due to the way in which it was restored, the Navigation became divided into two separately administered sections: the Upper Avon Navigation between Stratford and Evesham, and the Lower Avon Navigation between Evesham and the River Severn. The Upper Avon Navigation had fallen into disuse by 1874. The Lower Avon Navigation never quite fell into total disuse, but by the end of the Second World War only one barge was plying the stretch between Tewksbury and Pershore.

Restoration

The "Lower Avon Navigation Trust Ltd" ("LANT") was constituted as a charity in 1950, and by 1962 the 8 locks from Tewkesbury to Evesham were restored to working order, re-opening the Lower Avon. The Upper Avon was in a much worse condition than the Lower Avon, but the "Upper Avon Navigation Trust Ltd" ("UANT") was constituted in 1965 to rebuild the navigation. Despite this work requiring the building of new locks and weirs, and most of the work being undertaken by volunteers, the Upper Avon was reopened in 1974.

There have recently been proposals to extend the navigation upstream from Alveston to a link with the Grand Union Canal at either Warwick or Leamington Spa. This would open up a stretch of river that has never previously been navigable, and is a controversial issue locally.

Further reading

*C. Hadfield & J. Norris, Waterways to Stratford (2nd edn, David & Charles, Newton Abbot, 1968), 15-70
*J. Davies, Shakespeare’s Avon: the history of a navigation (Oakwood Press, Headington Oxon 1996)
*P. King, 'The river Teme and other Midlands navigations' "Journal of Railway and Canal Historical Society" 35(5) (July 2006), 349-50.

See also

*Other rivers named Avon
*River Severn
*Rivers of the United Kingdom

External links

* [http://www.oldstratforduponavon.com/riverchurch.html A few views of Shakespeare's Avon in old Postcards]
* [http://www.shakespearesavon.co.uk/ Shakespeare's Avon, the website of "LANT" and "UANT"]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • River Stour, Warwickshire — The River Stour is a river in Warwickshire, England. It is a tributary of the Avon, which it joins at Stratford upon Avon. The source of the River Stour is in Traitors Ford; it joins the Avon at Clifford Chambers.The River Stour passes through… …   Wikipedia

  • River Avon — (from Welsh afon , river ) may refer to:In England: *River Avon, Devon, Bigbury on Sea near Salcombe *River Avon, Warwickshire through Stratford upon Avon *River Avon, Hampshire through Salisbury, Wiltshire and Christchurch, Dorset *River Avon,… …   Wikipedia

  • Río Avon (Warwickshire) — Para otros usos de este término, véase Río Avon. Río Avon Vista del río Avon y el Teatro Shakespeare. País que atraviesa …   Wikipedia Español

  • Warwickshire — Warwickshire …   Wikipedia

  • Avon (Rivière) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Avon. Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Plusieurs rivières de Grande Bretagne sont nommées Avon. Sommaire …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Avon (riviere) — Avon (rivière) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Avon. Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Plusieurs rivières de Grande Bretagne sont nommées Avon. Sommaire …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Avon (county) — Avon Avon shown within England Geography Status Non metropolitan county 1974 area …   Wikipedia

  • Avon, River — I or Lower Avon River, southwestern England. Rising in Gloucestershire, it flows 75 mi (121 km) southwest through Bristol and into the Bristol Channel at Avonmouth, Bristol s port. Below Bristol it has cut through a limestone ridge to form… …   Universalium

  • Warwickshire — /wawr ik shear , sheuhr, wor /, n. a county in central England. 471,800; 765 sq. mi. (1980 sq. km). Also called Warwick. * * * Administrative (pop., 2001: 505,885) and historic county, central England. As an administrative and geographic unit,… …   Universalium

  • River Severn — Geobox|River name = River Severn native name = other name = Welsh: Afon Hafren other name1 = Latin: Sabrina image size = 288 image caption = The Severn at Shrewsbury from Shrewsbury Castle. etymology = country = Wales country1 = England state =… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.