River Tees

River Tees

Infobox River
river_name = River Tees

caption = High Force on the River Tees
origin = Cross Fell
mouth = North Sea
basin_country = England
length = 132 km (85 mi)
elevation = 754 m (2510 ft)
discharge =sd
watershed = 1834 km² (708 sq mi)
The Tees is a river in Northern England. It rises on the eastern slope of Cross Fell in the Pennines, and flows eastwards for about 85 miles (132 km) to the North Sea, between Hartlepool and Redcar. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/tees/features/tees_trail/index.shtml "BBC Where I Live"] - BBC. Retrieved 2 March 2007.] It drains an area of 708 square miles (1834 square km), and subsumes no important tributaries. The river formed the boundaries between the historic counties of County Durham and Yorkshire. At its lower reaches it now forms the boundary between the ceremonial counties of County Durham and North Yorkshire.

In the earliest part of its course it forms the boundary between the historic counties of Westmorland and Durham. The head of the valley, of which the upper portion is known as Teesdale, has a desolate grandeur; the hills, exceeding 2500 feet in height at some points, consist of bleak moorland. This area is part of the North Pennine Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, recently designated a geological Europark, the first in the UK.

A succession of falls or rapids, where the river traverses a hard series of black basaltic rocks, is called "Cauldron Snout". From a point immediately below this to its mouth, the Tees forms the boundary between the traditional counties of Durham and Yorkshire almost without a break, although since 1974 much of it lies wholly in Durham. The dale becomes bolder below Cauldron Snout, and trees appear, contrasting with the broken rocks where the water dashes over High Force. High force is a big waterfall but its biggest problem is that it is extremely powerfall, with a huge current.

The scenery becomes gentler and more picturesque as it descends past Middleton-in-Teesdale (Durham). This locality has lead and ironstone resources. The ancient town of Barnard Castle, Egglestone Abbey, and Rokeby Hall, well known through Sir Walter Scott's poem, are passed; and then the valley begins to open out, and it traverses the rich plain east and south of Darlington in sweeping curves.

The course of the valley until here has been generally east-southeast, but it now turns northeast and, nearing the sea, becomes an important commercial waterway, having on its banks the ports of Stockton-on-Tees and Middlesbrough. It passes through the Tees Barrage between Stockton-on-Tees and Middlesbrough, turning tidal downstream from the barrage.

Teesport is built on reclaimed land on the south side of the Tees estuary below Middlesbrough.

The River Tees was featured on both the television programmes "Seven Natural Wonders" as one of the wonders of the North and the post-apocalyptic drama "The Last Train" having blown its banks.

eal Sands

Before the heavy industrialization and pollution of the Tees by industry, the flats at Seal Sands in the Tees estuary were home to Common Seals and Grey Seals. For around 100 years these species were lost from the estuary due to the heavy pollution. In recent times however, water quality has improved drastically, and they can now be seen in the estuary and on the flats at Seal Sands once again. [ [http://www.naturesworld.org.uk/old/tees/map.htm#seal "Natures World"] Natures World Tees Feature] The Seal Sands area is now designated as the Teesmouth National Nature Reserve.


In the early 1800s the river was diverted to make it straighter thus saving money and time. Between Stockton-on-Tees and Middlesbrough the river meandered first south and then north of its current channel. Two "cuts", known as the Mandale cut and the Portrack cut were made to straighten its course. Before these cuts were made, the journey by sailing barge from Thornaby to Middlesbrough, allowing for tides and other factors, could take as long as the journey from the mouth of the Tees to London. The Mandale cut was the shorter of the two, at about 200m, with the Portrack cut being considerably longer, although the northern meander it removed was smaller than the southern meander. Neither meander is visible today, except for the flow of Stainsby Beck into a waterway which is marked on maps first as "The Fleet" and then "Old River Tees". The current Tees Barrage is close to the site of the Mandale cut.

Since the cuts were made, the river has continued to undergo alterations to make it deeper and more navigable. The channel has been made considerably narrower by dumping ship's ballast and ironworks slag along the former banks, increasing the scouring due to its natural flow. Maps made prior to 1900 [The History of the River Tees in Maps, 3rd. Ed. (2001), D.W. Pattenden, published by Cleveland and Teesside Local History Society ISBN 0 9507199 6 X] show that between Stockton and Middlesbrough the river flowed in a channel up to 300 m (330 yds) wide in places, with many shoals and sandbars. The modern channel varies between 100 and 200 m or even a bit more.

Legends and folklore

Peg Powler is a hag from English folklore who is said to inhabit the River Tees.

ee also

*List of settlements on the River Tees
*Rivers of the United Kingdom


External links

* [http://www.bridgesonthetyne.co.uk/intro3.html Bridges On the Tees]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • List of settlements on the River Tees — This is a list of settlements on the River Tees in County Durham, England. from source *Middleton in Teesdale*Eggleston*Cotherstone*Barnard Castle*Startforth*Whorlton*Wycliffe*Ovington*Winston*Piercebridge*High Coniscliffe*Cleasby*Stapleton*Croft …   Wikipedia

  • Tees Navigation Company — The Tees Navigation Company was a British Company chartered by an Act of Parliament in 1808, for the purpose of improving navigation of the River Tees between the towns of Stockton on Tees and Middlesbrough [John Brewster, The parochial history… …   Wikipedia

  • Tees Newport Bridge — Infobox Bridge bridge name = Tees Newport Bridge caption = Tees Newport Bridge official name = Tees Newport Bridge locale = Middlesbrough, England carries = Motor vehicles, A1032 road crosses = River Tees maint = open = 28 February 1934 below =… …   Wikipedia

  • Tees Barrage — Infobox Bridge bridge name = Tees Barrage image width = 250 caption = Tees Barrage official name = Tees Barrage carries = Motor vehicles (Tees Barrage Way) crosses = River Tees locale = Stockton on Tees, England maint = British Waterways id =… …   Wikipedia

  • River Skerne — The River Skerne is a tributary of the River Tees it flows through County Durham in England.The Skerne is about convert|25|mi|km long, the Skerne begins in magnesium limestone hills between Trimdon and Trimdon Grange and ends at Hurworth on Tees… …   Wikipedia

  • River Balder — Infobox River | river name = River Balder caption = The Balder Railway Viaduct over the River Balder origin = Stainmore Common mouth = River Tees basin countries = England length = 21 km (13 mi) elevation = 480 m (1575 ft) discharge = watershed …   Wikipedia

  • Tees Valley — The Tees Valley is an area in the North East of England. It can be described as greater Teesside and consists of the four unitary authorities created by the breakup of the County of Cleveland in 1996: Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar Cleveland,… …   Wikipedia

  • River Leven, North Yorkshire — Infobox River | river name = River Leven caption = The mouth of the Leven. origin = mouth = River Tees, Yarm basin countries = England length = elevation = discharge = watershed = The River Leven flows through North Yorkshire, and is a tributary… …   Wikipedia

  • Tees-Exe line — The Tees Exe line is an imaginary line that can be drawn on a map of Great Britain which roughly divides the lowland and upland regions of the country.The line links the mouth of the River Tees between Redcar and Hartlepool in the north east of… …   Wikipedia

  • Tees — Recorded in many forms including Tees, Teas, Teaz, Teece, Ties, Tice, and Teese (English and American), as well as Taye, Tease, Teaze, Tacey, Teasy and Teaser (Irish), this is a surname of one origin, but it would seem, ultimately several… …   Surnames reference