Photographer's Note

The River Avon is a river in the south west of England. In its lower reaches the river is navigable and known as the Avon Navigation. Because of a number of other River Avons in England, this river is often also known as the Lower Avon or Bristol Avon.

The Avon rises near Chipping Sodbury in Gloucestershire, between the villages of Old Sodbury and Acton Turville. Running a somewhat circular path, the river drains east and then south through Wiltshire.

Its first main settlement is the village of Luckington, two miles inside the Wiltshire border, and then on to Sherston. At Malmesbury it joins up with its first major tributary, the Tetbury Avon, which rises just north of Tetbury in Gloucestershire. This tributary is known locally as the Ingleburn, which in Saxon means 'English river'.

Here, the two rivers almost meet but their path is blocked by a rocky outcrop of the Cotswolds, almost creating an island for the ancient hilltop town of Malmesbury to sit on.

After the two rivers merge, the Avon then turns south east away from the Cotswolds and then quickly south into the clay Dauntsey Vale until it reaches the biggest town so far, Chippenham. The wide vale is now known as the Avon Vale, and the river flows on to Melksham then turns north-west through Bradford on Avon, Bath, Keynsham and Bristol and joins the Severn estuary at Avonmouth near Bristol. For much of its course after leaving Wiltshire, it marks the traditional boundary between Somerset and Gloucestershire.

Palladian Pulteney Bridge and the weir at Bath In central Bristol, where the river is tidal, it is diverted from its original course onto the "New Cut", a channel dug between 1804 and 1809 at a cost of UK600,000. The original course is held at a constant level by lock gates (designed by Brunel) and is known as the Floating Harbour. This gave the port an advantage by enabling shipping to stay afloat rather than grounding when the tide went down. Downstream of central Bristol the river passes through the deep Avon Gorge, spanned by Brunel's Clifton Suspension Bridge.
The name Avon is a cognate of the Welsh word afon meaning "river" (f is pronounced as v in Welsh). "River Avon", therefore, literally means "River River". This explains the several English rivers with the name Avon.

The County of Avon that existed from 1974 to 1996 covering the Avon valley, including Bristol and Bath, was named after the river.

greenpinkorange has marked this note useful

Photo Information
  • Copyright: sameera sachdeva (sameeras) Silver Note Writer [C: 9 W: 0 N: 11] (49)
  • Genre:
  • Medium:
  • Date Taken: 2004-07-24
  • Categories:
  • Exposure: f/5.6, 1/320
  • More Photo Info: view
  • : , Workshop
  • : UK Trip
  • Date Submitted: 2006-10-02 3:57
Viewed: 2320
Points: 5
Additional Photos by sameera sachdeva (sameeras) Silver Note Writer [C: 9 W: 0 N: 11] (49)
View More Pictures