River Wye, Buckinghamshire

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For other rivers named "Wye", see River Wye (disambiguation).
Wye
River
River Wye Wooburn.jpg
River Wye near Wooburn Industrial Estate
Country England
Counties Buckinghamshire
Towns High Wycombe, Bourne End
Source
 - location Bradenham, Chiltern Hills
Mouth River Thames
 - location Bourne End
 - coordinates 51°34′13″N 0°42′40″W / 51.57028°N 0.71111°W / 51.57028; -0.71111Coordinates: 51°34′13″N 0°42′40″W / 51.57028°N 0.71111°W / 51.57028; -0.71111
Length 14 km (9 mi)
Discharge for Hedsor
 - average 1.00 m3/s (35 cu ft/s)
 - max 4.40 m3/s (155 cu ft/s) 25 September 1981
 - min 0.25 m3/s (9 cu ft/s) 25 December 1973
Discharge elsewhere (average)
 - High Wycombe 0.31 m3/s (11 cu ft/s)

The River Wye in Buckinghamshire is a river in England that rises in the Chiltern Hills of Buckinghamshire. It flows for around 9 miles (14 km), through High Wycombe on its way down to Bourne End, where it meets the River Thames on the reach above Cookham Lock.

High Wycombe takes part of its name from the river, which now runs mostly underground through the town.[1] Pann Mill watermill, at the eastern end of Wycombe, is the last remaining watermill on the River Wye.[2]

History[edit]

There is a long history of water-mills being operated in the Wye Valley which drops about 200 feet in its 9 mile course. The Domesday Book records eighteen of them in the nine miles between West Wycombe and the Thames.[3] By the seventeenth century there were fulling mills as well as corn mills. A Court of Survey in 1627 lists six mills running upstream from the boundary with Wooburn Parish: the paper mill, Tredway, Loudwater, Bassetsbury, Chalfonts (Rye) and Bridge. There were by this time at least two paper mills: Glory in Wooburn Green and Hedge in Loudwater. By 1636 another paper mill had been established in the parish of West Wycombe and by 1656 another at Marsh, below Wycombe. At this time paper was made from rags and by the end of the eighteenth century more than 150 men were recorded as papermakers in the valley. In 1816 there were 32 paper mills (some of which also milled corn), four which only milled corn and one which was also a saw mill. This was when paper making reached its peak in the valley. However, the introduction of the Fourdrinier machine, which produced a continuous roll of paper, led to widespread unemployment and many families went to the cotton mills of Lancashire. In 1830 there were riots when machine wreckers broke the machines at Ash, Marsh Green and Loudwater. Twenty men were punished by penal transportation to Tasmania.[4]

Papermaking continued at the Soho and Glory mills till the end of the twentieth century, though the water-mills gave way to steam in the mid-nineteenth century. The Soho mill in Wooburn was the prime supplier of high-grade colour paper till its demise in 1984.[5]

Mills[edit]

Shown in order from highest to lowest. Note that Marsh Green to Treadway are on an extra cut parallel to Pan to Loudwater Mills. The number is that given by registration in the eighteenth century.

Name Recorded Last record No Type OS Ref
West Wycombe Mill 1311 1900~ sawmill (18thC) SU 8373 9415
Upper, Francis or Little Mill 1681 1903 423 paper SU 8443 9400
Lower, Mill End or Fryer’s Mill 1505 1915 422 Corn & paper SU 8490 9384
Lord, Frog or Ball Mill 1717 1883 421 Corn & paper SU 8550 9363
Ash or Lane’s Mill (Broughton/Wynkle’s) (2) 1596 1895 419, 420 paper SU 8600 9339
Temple Mill (Gosenham) 1227 1895 corn SU 8631 9315
Bridge Mill 1185 1932 corn SU 8653 9290
Pann Mill 1185 1967 corn SU 8705 9276
Rye Mill (Bradshaw’s, Sale’s, Bowler’s, New) 1346 1931 411 paper SU 8746 9260
Bassetbury Mill 1411 1931 corn SU 8771 9240
Bowden Mill (2) 1235 1939 415, 416 Corn & paper SU 8830 9220
Wycombe Marsh Mill (Lower Marsh) 1133 1993 414 paper SU 8880 9195
King’s Mill (New) 1725 1939 417 paper SU 8746 9260
Loudwater Mill (2) 1483 1939 430, 431 paper SU 9014 9079
Snakely or Ford’s Mill 1767 1970 428 paper SU 9027 9036
Hedge Mill 1235 1970 427 Corn & paper SU 9042 9012
Marsh Green or Upper Marsh Mill 1750 1816 412 Corn & paper SU 8790 9212
Beech Mill 1740 1900 413 paper SU 8881 9155
Treadway Mill (Overshot’s) 1682 1854 418 Corn & paper SU 8999 9056
Clapton Mill 1492 1922 429, 509 Corn, metal & paper SU 9100 8997
Glory Mill (2) 1235 2000 426 Corn & paper SU 9130 8950
Lower Glory Mill 1631 1907 425 Corn & paper SU 9160 8895
Soho Mill 1705 1988 424 Corn & paper SU 9080 8770
Prince’s Mill (Egham Green) (3) 1730 1865 287, 288, 289 Corn & paper SU 9009 8736
Gunpowder Mill (Jackson’s) 1705 1980 286 Corn & paper SU 8978 8717
Hedsor Mill 1492 1980 285 Corn & paper SU 8962 8670
Lower Bourne End Mill[6] 1719 1895 284 Corn & paper SU 8948 8643

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bucks Free Press River Clean-up Project gets Underway 1 October 2008
  2. ^ Pann Mill Watermill
  3. ^ L. John Mayes (1985). "Paper in the Wye Valley". In G T Mandl. Three Hundred Years in Paper. London:G T Mandl. 
  4. ^ "Brief History of High Wycombe". Buckinghamshire County Council. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  5. ^ "Wooburn and Bourne End Parish Council". Retrieved 2010-07-08. 
  6. ^ Alan Mead (1999), Days of Glory, Far Out Publications 


Next confluence upstream River Thames Next confluence downstream
Hennerton Backwater River Wye, Buckinghamshire York Stream (south)