River Wyre

River Wyre

Location map
caption="Wyre estuary shown within Lancashire"

The River Wyre is a river in Lancashire, England, which flows into the Irish Sea at Fleetwood. It is approximately 28 miles (45km) in length. The river is a County Biological Heritage Site.


The river rises in the Forest of Bowland in central Lancashire, as two distinct tributaries, the Tarnbrook Wyre and the Marshaw Wyre, whose confluence is near the village of Abbeystead. A pumping station was built just below below the confluence as part of a water transfer scheme in the 1980s. During a site visit by villagers from nearby St Michael's On Wyre in 1984, a major explosion occasioned by a buildup of naturally-occurring methane gas occurred. Sixteen people were killed and a further 22 were injured.

From Abbeystead, the river flows south through Dolphinholme and Garstang to Catterall where it meets its first major tributary, the River Calder. The river then turns westward, flowing through St Michael's On Wyre where it is joined by its second major tributary, the River Brock. It becomes tidal near Little Eccleston.

It is crossed by a toll bridge (normal fee is 40 pence) at Cartford, between Little Eccleston and Out Rawcliffe. A former toll bridge, Shard Bridge, close to Poulton-le-Fylde, has been rebuilt and is now free. The Lancaster Canal crosses on a small aqueduct at Garstang. A pedestrian ferry runs between Fleetwood and Knott End but the ferry to the Isle of Man no longer runs.

Major industry exists at the former ICI site at Burn Naze, close to the estuary of the river. Originally an alkali works taking brine from mines and wells across the river in and around Preesall. Later processes undertaken on the site included those dealing with Vinyl Chloride Monomer, although this was later moved to Runcorn and ICI activity on the site wound up. Industrial activity by a number of various companies continues by the river, albeit on a much reduced scale.

The area around Burn Naze on the western side of the Wyre estuary was formerly known as "Bergerode", believed to be an Old English term for "shallow harbour", "beor grade". [William John Thomas et al, "Notes and Queries" (1850). Oxford University Press.]

Fleetwood at the mouth of the river was a major fishing port up until the latter half of the 20th century. Wyre Dock was built there between 1869 and 1877. With the decline in the size of the fleet, most of the dock complex has subsequently been converted to a marina and the adjacent "Freeport" shopping village.

The river drains a total catchment area of approximately 175 square miles (450 km²). The tidal portion of the river below Cartford Bridge drains a catchment area of approximately 125 square miles (320 km²).cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Wyre Catchment Area Flood Management Plan
work =
publisher = Environment Agency
month = January | year = 2007
url = http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/commondata/acrobat/wyre_summary_report_1697941.pdf
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-10-25

The Wyre is reputedly the longest river in England whose estuary can be seen from its source.Fact|date=February 2007


River Wyre

Location map+|Lancashire
Shown within Lancashire

places = Location map~|Lancashire|lat=53.923|long=-3.015|label=Fleetwood |background=#FAF7CD|label_size=85|position=left Location map~|Lancashire|lat=53.927|long=-2.979|label=Knott End |background=#FAF7CD|label_size=85| Location map~|Lancashire|lat=53.871|long=-3.004|label=Thornton |background=#FAF7CD|label_size=85|position=left Location map~|Lancashire|lat=53.863|long=-2.821|label=St Michael's|background=#FAF7CD|label_size=85 Location map~|Lancashire|lat=53.903|long=-2.768|label=Garstang |background=#FAF7CD|label_size=85 Location map~|Lancashire|lat=53.975|long=-2.733|label=Dolphinholme |background=#FAF7CD|label_size=85|position=left Location map~|Lancashire|lat=53.983|long=-2.672|label=
Location map~|Lancashire|lat=54.022|long=-2.607|label="Tarnbrook Source
"|background=#FAF7CD|label_size=85|mark=Blue pog.svg|position=top
Location map~|Lancashire|lat=54.006|long=-2.580|label="Marshaw Source" |background=#FAF7CD|label_size=85|mark=Blue pog.svg

*Knott End-on-Sea
*Little Singleton
*Out Rawcliffe
*Little Eccleston
*Great Eccleston
*St Michael's on Wyre
*Hollins Lane

Marshaw Wyre


Tarnbrook Wyre

*Lower Lee


River Wyre

*Hillylaid Pool
*Wardley's Pool
*Peg's Pool
*Skippool Creek
**Main Dyke
***Lucas Flash
*Calder Brook
*Wall Mill Pool
**Thistleton Brook
***Medlar Brook
***Scholar Brook
*River Brock
**Yoad Pool
**New Draught
***Old River Brock
****Bacchus Brook
****Bull Brook
***Withney Dike
***Woodplumpton Brook
****Swill Brook
****Blundel Brook
***New Mill Brook
****Barton Brook
*****Dean Brook
*****Sparling Brook
******Factory Brook
*****Westfield Brook
******Mill Brook
*******Whinnyclough Brook
********Bullsnape Brook
**Lickhurst Brook
**Huds Brook
**Winsnape Brook
**Clough Heads Brook
*Longback Brook
*Ains Pool
*River Calder
**Little Calder River
**Nanny Brook
**Calder Dyke
**East Grain
**North Grain
*Parkhead Brook
*Grizedale Brook
**Oxen Beck
*Tithe Barn Brook
*Park Brook
*Foxhouses Brook
**Lordshouse Brook
*Street Brook
*Damas Gill
*Sparrow Gill
*Caw Brook
**Smithy Beck
*Gallows Clough
*Hall Gill
*Parson's Brook
**Joshua's Beck
*Cam Brook
*Lainsley Slack

Marshaw Wyre

*Marshaw Wyre
**White Syke
**Bull Beck
**Well Brook
***Meer Brook
**Black Clough
***Tail Clough
**Trough Brook
**Threapshaw Clough

Tarnbrook Wyre

*Tarnbrook Wyre
**River Grizedale
***Castle Syke
***Grizedale Brook
****Lower Within Syke
****Higher Within Syke
**Wood Syke
***Stick Close Beck
**Thorn Clough
**Fall Clough
**Tarn Syke
***Thrush Clough
**Higher Syke
**Delph Beck
***White Moor Clough
***Swine Clough
***Deer Clough
**Small Clough
**Gavells Clough
**Hare Syke


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