The Teign estuary at sunset
|Towns||Teignmouth, Newton Abbot|
|- elevation||528 m (1,732 ft)|
|- location||English Channel|
|- elevation||0 m (0 ft)|
|Length||50 km (31 mi)|
The river-name 'Teign' is first attested in an Anglo-Saxon charter of 739, where it appears as Teng. The name is pre-Roman, related to the Welsh taen meaning 'sprinkling', and means simply 'stream'.
Like many Devon rivers, the Teign rises on Dartmoor, near Cranmere Pool. Its course on the moor is crossed by a clapper bridge near Teigncombe (a farm approx. 3 km. W. of Chagford), just below the prehistoric Kestor Settlement. It leaves the moor at its eastern side, flowing beneath Castle Drogo in a steep-sided valley. It then flows southwards at the east edge of the moor. The river becomes tidal at Newton Abbot and reaches the English Channel at Teignmouth. Its estuary is a large ria.
The river lends its name to several places on the map in its 50 km (31 mi) to the English Channel: Teigncombe, Drewsteignton, Teigngrace, Kingsteignton (at one time, one of England's largest villages), Bishopsteignton, Teignharvey, and the second largest settlement along its course, Teignmouth, pronounced //.
Until 1827 the most downstream bridge over the river was Teign Bridge at Teigngrace. When it was being rebuilt in 1815 it became apparent that at least four successive bridges had been erected at various times with or over the remains of the previous constructions. Mr. P. T. Taylor, who investigated the matter at the time, gave as his opinion that:
the last or upper work was done in the sixteenth century, and that the red bridge had been built on the salt marsh in the thirteenth century; since which time there has been an accumulation of soil to the depth of ten feet. He supposes the wooden bridge to be old as the Conquest, and the white stone bridge to have been Roman work.
One end of the Hackney Canal connected to the river.
The river has been kayaked at least from Leigh Bridge (the confluence of the North and South Teign) at SX 6835 8765 to Steps Bridge at SX 8043 8835, rated as grade 2 to 3. There is also a single high-grade, very technical drop. Near Dunsford there is a nature reserve on the east bank.
The Teign estuary is one of the UK's premier rivers for flounder fishing. Other species include grey mullet in the estuary, brown trout further up the river and some salmon and sea trout throughout. Some coarse fish are caught in the lower reaches of Teign, although it is not officially a coarse fish river. This includes carp as far as the tidal marshes under the A380 at Newton Abbot.
- Rivers of the United Kingdom
- Rock-cut basin The Tolmen stone on the North Teign
- Fingle Bridge - a Grade II* listed structure crossing the Teign on Dartmoor
- Haytor Granite Tramway - The Teign and its commercial past.
- Teign Valley Railway
- Eilert Ekwall, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names, p.462.
- Jusserand, J.J. (1891). English Wayfaring Life in the Middle Ages. Pub. T. Fisher Unwin, London. P. 69. Available online at www.archive.org.
- UK Rivers Guidebook - South West England
- Dunsford Nature Reserve on Devon Wildlife Trust Website