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Waterways of Norfolk

Navigable Rivers and Canals within Norfolk

The Swan Inn, Horning, on the River Bure.

Aylsham Navigation

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

The whole navigation was in Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

Also called the Upper Bure Navigation and running 9.5 miles with 5 locks using the course of the upper Bure River plus a mile of cut to Aylesham Basin.

History:

Authorised by an Act of 1773, work started in 1774 and opened in October of 1779. Abandoned in 1928.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Candle Dyke to Hickling Broad

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

The whole waterway is within Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

1.5 mile route from the River Thurne to Hickling Broad.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Great Ouse Relief Channel

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

The whole of this waterway is within Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

A 6.5 mile navigable channel from a lock at Denver Sluice to Wiggenhall Bridge just over two miles south of King's Lynn.

History:

Built around the 1960s as a flood relief channel running parallel yo the tidal Great Ouse and opened up to navigation by the building of a lock at Denver in July 2001.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Haddiscoe (or New) Cut - Norfolk & Suffolk Broads

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

The whole waterway is within Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

This 2 mile canal runs from Reedham to Haddicoe and links the rivers Waveney and Yare.

History:

Promoted by Act of 1827 as the Norwich and Lowestoft Navigation. It was opened in 1833.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Hardley Dyke (River Yare)

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

The whole waterway is within Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

A short dyke joining the river Yare.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Langley Dyke (River Yare)

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

The whole waterway is within Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

A short dyke joining the River Yare.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Little Ouse or Brandon River

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

Most of this river forms the boundary between Norfolk and Suffolk, except for about two miles, where it passes first through Suffolk and then through Norfolk before returning to its course on the county boundary, and the first 3 miles from the original head of the navigable river at Thetford Town Bridge, which is wholly within Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

A 22.5 mile tributary of the Great Ouse. Currently only navigable for 13 miles.

History:

Acts relating to navigation were passed in 1670, 1751 and 1810.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Martham Broad to West Somerton

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

The whole waterway is within Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

Just under a mile of navigation linking West Somerton to the River Thurne.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Meadow Dyke to Waxham Bridge

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

This navigation is entirely within Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

A 3 mile route from Heigham Sound to Hornsey Mere and Wraxham Bridge.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Middle Level - Old River Nene

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

From Marmont Priory Sluice, where the river crosses into Norfolk from Cambridgeshire, to its terminus at Outwell Junction, where it connects with Well Creek, the river runs 2 miles into Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

Runs 26 miles from Mere Mouth, where it joins Bevill's Leam and Black Ham Drain, to Outwell, the junction with Well Creek.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Middle Level - Popham's Eau

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

The first mile of the navigation from the Old River Nene junction is in Cambridgeshire. The waterway then crosses into Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

Runs 2.5 miles from the Middle Level Drain, although there is no connection at this point, to Popham's Eau End, where it joins the Old River Nene.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Middle Level - Sixteen Foot River

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

From its junction with Popham's Eau only the first mile of this waterway is in Norfolk, the remainder of its 9 miles length are in Cambridgeshire.

Waterway Description:

Runs 9.6 miles, from Three Holes Bridge, where it joins Popham's Eau, to Sixteen Foot Corner, where it joins the Forty Foot River.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Middle Level - Well Creek

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

The whole of this waterway is within Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

Runs almost 5.4 miles from Outwell Junction, where it joins the Old River Nene, to Salter's Sluice, where it joins the River Ouse.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Middle Level Drain

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

The whole waterway is within Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

Runs 2 miles from Popham's Eua to the aqueduct carrying Well Creek over the Middle Level Drain.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Middle Level Navigation

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

A collection of waterways in Cambrigeshire and Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

A network of waterways, primarily used for land drainage, between the Rivers Nene and Great Ouse.

History:

Promoted by Acts of 1753, 1793, 1810, 1844, 1848, 1852, 1862 and 1874.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Norfolk and Suffolk Broads

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

These navigations are all within Norfolk and Suffolk.

Waterway Description:

Over 200 miles of broads and rivers under the supervision of The Broads Authority.

History:

Promoted by Acts of 1670, 1722, 1747, 1772, 1773, 1827, 1866, 1907 and 1963.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

North Walsham and Dilham Canal

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

The whole canal is in Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

This 8¾ mile canalisation of the River Ant (part of the Norfolk Broads Navigations) is now only navigable for the first 2 miles.

History:

Promoted by an Act of 1812.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Old Bedford River

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

The river is in Norfolk for & miles from a mile before Delph Bridge (the A1101 road bridge to Welney Village), where it crosses into Norfolk from Cambidgeshire to Salters Lode, where in joins the Great Ouse.

Waterway Description:

Navigable for 12 miles, from Welches Dam to Salters Lode Junction.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Old West River (Great Ouse)

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

The river is in Norfolk for nearly 7 miles from Brandon Creek, where it crosses into Norfolk from Cambridgeshire, to Denver Sluice, where it rejoins the Great Ouse Main Line.

Waterway Description:

This 31 miles of the old course of the Great Ouse from Earith to Denver Sluice has a number of names and is usually called Ten Mile River (from Denver to Littleport), the Ely Ouse (from Littleport to Pope's Corner) and the Old West River (from Popes Corner to Earith).

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Ant

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

The whole waterway is within Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

This 8 mile tributary of the River Bure runs from the junction with the North Walsham and Dilham Canal, to the junction with the River Bure.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Bure

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

The whole waterway is within Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

This 40.6 mile navigation is now only navigable for the 31.5 miles of its tidal reaches starting at Coltishall and joining the River Yare at Yarmouth.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Chet

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

The whole waterway is within Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

This 3.5 mile tributary of the River Yare is navigable from Loddon to Hardley Cross where it joins the River Yare.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Great Ouse

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

The river is in Norfolk from a mile before Welney Suspension Bridge, where it crosses into Norfolk from Cambridgeshire, to the point where it enters the Wash, a distance of 23 miles.

Waterway Description:

The navigation runs 74 miles from Bedford to the Wash.

History:

Promoted under Acts of 1670, 1751, 1795, 1796, 1805, 1810, 1816, 1818, 1819, 1827 and 1830. The locks from Brownshill to Eaton Scocon were rebuilt in the 1930s when this part of the river was restored by the newly formed Great Ouse Catchment Board. Prior to the 1950s the river below Denver was kept clear by the flow from the Great Ouse but since then the relief channel has been built to divert these waters and the bed of the river has risen by about a metre. In 1951 The Great Ouse Restoration Society formed and in 1963 legislation enabled the River Authority to licence boats and charge fees, at last providing money for navigation to a body mainly concerned with drainage. n 1978 The final lock at Castle Mills was completed and navigation to Bedford was restored.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Nar

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

A river entirely within Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

Was navigable for 12 miles, with 10 staunches, from Narborough, Norfolk, to the Great Ouse just above King's Lynn.

History:

River improvements authorised by an Act of 1751, no traffic after 1884.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Nene

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

For some way between Wisbech and Tydd Gate the river marks the bounary between Cambridgeshire and Norfolk. At Tydd Gate the river leaves both counties and enters Lincolnshire.

Waterway Description:

Runs 91 miles from Northampton, where it joins the Northampton Branch of the Grand Union Canal, to the Wash. The lower 26 miles (from Dog-in-a-Doublet Lock) are tidal.

History:

Promoted by Acts of 1713 (no work done), 1724, 1754, 1756, 1794, 1827 and 1829. Navigation from Thrapston to Peterborough promoted by the 1724 Act and navigation from Thrapston to Northampton promoted by the Act 1756. Navigation from Northampton to Peterborough was opened in 1761.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Thurne

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

The whole waterway is within Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

This 5.7 mile tidal tributary of the River Bure, runs from Martham Broad to the junction with the River Bure at Thurne Mouth.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Waveney

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

From the head of navigation at Bungay to a point between Somerleyton and Haddiscome Station the river is the boundary between Norfolk and Suffolk. From this point on to the end of the river, at Breydon Water, it is wholly within Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

This 25.7 mile river runs from Bungay the junction with the River Yare at Breydon Water. Only the 21.5 miles of tidal water, below Geldeston Lock, are currently navigable.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Wissey

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

The whole river is within Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

This 10.5 mile tributary of the Great Ouse runs from Oxborough Ferry to its junction with the Great Ouse, 1 mile above Denver Sluice.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Yare

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

The whole waterway is within Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

This tidal river runs 31.6 miles, from Norwich to Gorleston-on-Sea, Great Yarmouth, where it joins the North Sea.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Rockland Dyke and Rockland Broad

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

The whole waterway is within Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

Rockland Broad and the dyke connecting it to the River Yare.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Stalham Dyke (River Ant)

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

The whole waterway is within Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

A 1 mile tributary of the River Ant

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Swaffham Lode

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

The whole waterway is within Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

A tributary of the Cam

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Thorpe Village Loop (River Yare)

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

The whole waterway is within Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

A 0.7 mile loop at Thorpe village on the River Yare.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Trowse Mills Branch (River Yare)

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

The whole waterway is within Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

Runs just under a mile from Trowse Mills to the junction with the River Wensum

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Wisbech Canal

Waterway's place in Norfolk :

A canal that was on the border of Cambridgeshire and Norfolk.

Waterway Description:

Was a 5.25 mile, 2 lock, broad canal from The River Nene at Wisbech to Outwell where it joined Well Creek.

History:

Authorised by an Act of 1794, opened in 1797, traffic ceased in 1922 and the canal was abandoned in 1926.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

External Web Sites Related to Norfolk Waterways

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Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
Home Introduction Waterways List Waterways Map Links Books DVD Articles Photo Gallery
Features Contact me Glossary Boats Events List History Local Waterways Help Photo List