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Waterways of Suffolk

Navigable Rivers and Canals within Suffolk

The Little Ouse near Brandon Bridge.

Ipswich & Stowmarket Navigation

Waterway's place in Suffolk :

The whole navigation was within Suffolk.

Waterway Description:

This 16 mile navigation linked the two towns. There were 15 locks including the tidal lock at Ipswich. For more information see the River Gipping entry.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Lakenheath Lode (Great Ouse)

Waterway's place in Suffolk :

The whole waterway is within Suffolk.

Waterway Description:

A 3 mile tributary of the Little Ouse.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Lark - Orwell Canal project

Waterway's place in Suffolk :

A proposal for a canal that would have been entirely within Suffolk.

Waterway Description:

A proposal for a 31 mile canal from the River Lark at Bury to the Orwell estuary at Mistley. Never authorised or built.

History:

Surveyed by Rennie in 1790.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Little Ouse or Brandon River

Waterway's place in Suffolk :

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.

Norfolk and Suffolk Broads

Waterway's place in Suffolk :

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.

Oulton Broad and Dyke

Waterway's place in Suffolk :

The whole waterway is in Suffolk.

Waterway Description:

This tidal navigation runs 4.5 miles, from the junction with the River Waveney to Lowestoft Harbour.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Alde

Waterway's place in Suffolk :

Waterway Description:

Twenty one miles of river in Suffolk. It is difficult and dangerous due to the shifting shingle bar across the entrance. It runs from Snape Bridge to Shingle Street (a village destroyed in the war). Whilst the entrance is shingle its banks are very muddy.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Blyth

Waterway's place in Suffolk :

A river entirely within Suffolk.

Waterway Description:

A five and a half mile tidal navigation near Southwold, Suffolk. Runs from the River Mouth to Blythburgh.

History:

An Act of 1757 authorised the navigation but the locks were closed in 1934, by an order under the 1930 Land Drainage Act.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Deben

Waterway's place in Suffolk :

The whole river is in Suffolk.

Waterway Description:

This tidal Suffolk river runs 11 miles near Woodbridge.

History:

Has not been subject to any Act of Parliament.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Gipping

Waterway's place in Suffolk :

The whole river is within Suffolk.

Waterway Description:

Was an improved river navigation of 15 miles 7 furlongs, and 15 locks, between Ipswich and Stowmarket.

History:

Authorised by Acts of 1790 and 1793 and administered by the Ipswich & Stowmarket Navigation Co., completed in 1798, the company was wound up in 1929.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Lark (Great Ouse)

Waterway's place in Suffolk :

From the original head of navigation, at Northgate Dock in Bury St Edmunds, the river is wholly in Suffolk until its junction with Lee Brook. It then becomes the boundary between Suffolk and Cambidgeshire until about a mile before Prickwillow, where it crosses into Cambridgeshire.

Waterway Description:

A tributary of the Great Ouse, originally navigable for 24.5 miles from Bury St Edmunds but now only navigable from Judes Ferry, 10 miles.

History:

Promoted by Acts of 1700 and 1817

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Orwell

Waterway's place in Suffolk :

A river entirely within Suffolk.

Waterway Description:

A tidal navigation of some 9 miles from Ipswich to the River Stour (Suffolk).

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Stour (Suffolk)

Waterway's place in Suffolk :

The river forms the boundary between Suffolk and Essex so practically the whole river is shared by both counties. Some changes to the course of the river over the years have caused the river to cross wholly in to one county or the other for short distances.

Waterway Description:

Runs 35.5 miles from Sudbury to Harwich where it joins the sea

History:

Promoted under Acts of 1705 and 1781. Opened about 1709. Abandoned 1937.

Points of Interest:

Famous as the subject of John Constable's paintings. Constable lived at Flatford Mill and Gainsborough was born at Sudbury.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Waveney

Waterway's place in Suffolk :

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.

External Web Sites Related to Suffolk 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