Avon, River


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 Clifton Gorge, noted for its suspension bridge.
II
or Upper Avon

River, central England.

Rising in Northamptonshire, it flows 96 mi (154 km) southwest into the River Severn at Tewkesbury. It is known for its scenic beauty, notably in the Vale of Evesham. Important towns along it include Stratford, where William Shakespeare was born.

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river, central England, United Kingdom
also called  Upper Avon  or  Warwickshire Avon 

      river, eastern tributary of the River Severn that rises near Naseby in central England and flows generally southwestward for 96 miles (154 km) through the counties of Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire. The river shares the name Avon (derived from a Celtic word meaning “river”) with several other rivers in Great Britain, including the Avon (Avon, River) of Bristol (or Lower Avon) and the Avon (Avon, River) of Wiltshire and Hampshire (or East Avon).

      It has a total fall of about 500 feet (150 metres). The river valley widens through the Vale of Evesham, especially below Warwickshire, where its fertile soil supports extensive agriculture. The river is known for its scenic beauty especially in the Vale of Evesham, which is flanked by the Cotswold Hills on the south and by the wooded Arden district on the north. The river abounds in coarse fish. It has locks (now decayed) and formerly carried some trade but now is used only by pleasure boats. Important towns along the river include Rugby, Leamington Spa, Warwick, Stratford, and Evesham. The River Avon has literary associations with William Shakespeare, who was born and died at Stratford.

river, southern England, United Kingdom
also called  East Avon  or  Hampshire Avon 
 river that rises 3 miles (5 km) east of Devizes, Wiltshire, England, on the north side of the Vale of Pewsey and flows generally southward for 48 miles (77 km) to the English Channel. The river shares the name Avon (derived from a Celtic word meaning “river”) with several other rivers in Great Britain, including the Avon (Avon, River) of Bristol (or Lower Avon) and the Avon (Avon, River) of Warwickshire (or Upper Avon).

      The Avon has a drainage area of 1,132 square miles (2,932 square km) and a fall of 500 feet (150 metres). From Upavon southward to Salisbury, the river meanders widely among meadowlands of the Salisbury Plain in a narrow valley with many villages and much evidence of early settlement. Below Salisbury the valley is wider, with several watercourses in places, but there are few towns near the riverbanks. It enters the English Channel through the nearly landlocked Christchurch harbour. The main tributaries are the Bourne (from the east) and the Wylye (from the west) at Salisbury and the Stour (from the west) just above Christchurch. The river is navigable to Salisbury and probably was well traveled in prehistoric times. It has salmon fisheries and a variety of coarse fish.

river, western England, United Kingdom
also called  Lower Avon  or  Bristol Avon 

      river that rises on the southeastern slope of the Cotswolds, England, and flows through Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, and Somerset. The river shares the name Avon (derived from a Celtic word meaning “river”) with several other rivers in Great Britain, including the Avon (Avon, River) of Warwickshire (or Upper Avon) and the Avon (Avon, River) of Wiltshire and Hampshire (or East Avon).

      With a drainage area of 891 square miles (2,308 square km), it has a fall of more than 500 feet (150 metres) and a length, excluding minor sinuosities, of 75 miles (120 km). It flows eastward and southward in a wide curve through a broad valley, past Chippenham and Melksham, and it turns abruptly westward to Bradford-on-Avon. There the river enters a narrow, gorgelike valley as it swings northwestward through the Cotswolds past Bath. At Bristol the Avon has a straight channel, which was excavated in the 19th century to provide access for seagoing vessels. Below Bristol the river has cut through a limestone ridge to form the picturesque Clifton Gorge, which is noted for its wooded cliffs and its suspension bridge. The Avon enters the River Severn estuary at Avonmouth, the ocean port of Bristol. Important tributaries are the Somerset Frome, joining the river from the south near Bradford-on-Avon, and the Bristol Frome, entering from the north in Bristol. The Kennet and Avon Canal (now abandoned) is linked to the river by a ladder of seven locks at Bath.

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Universalium. 2010.

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