River Frome, Stroud
River Frome near Ebley Mill
|Length||40 km (25 mi)|
|⁃ location||Ebley Mill|
|⁃ average||2.6 m3/s (92 cu ft/s)|
The River Frome, once also known as the Stroudwater, is a small river in Gloucestershire, England. It is to be distinguished from another River Frome in Gloucestershire, the Bristol Frome, and the nearby River Frome, Herefordshire. The river is approximately 25 miles (40 km) long.
The Stroud Frome rises from several springs at Nettleton (about a mile southeast of Birdlip) and in springs at Climperwell Farm (southwest of Brimpsfield). The two branches meet in Miserden Park, just south of Caudle Green and Syde. The Frome continues to meander its way south to Sapperton, then west to Brimscombe where it turns northwest towards Stroud. The river flows through Stroud, past the Frome Banks nature reserve, then through Ebley and Stonehouse where it goes under the M5 motorway, and past Saul to enter the River Severn at Upper Framilode.
At Caudle Green the eastern side of the valley rises to the North Sea/Atlantic watershed, approximately one mile to the east. The Frome basin shares a length of this watershed feeding into the River Thames to the east (via the River Churn) and the Severn to the West (via the Frome).
Below Sapperton the Frome runs adjacent to the Thames and Severn Canal which is now disused, although undergoing restoration. This joins the Stroudwater Navigation (Stroudwater Canal) at Wallbridge. The Stroudwater Navigation is fed by the Slad Brook and the Painswick stream. Changes to water drainage to reduce flooding, carried out by the Severn River Board in 1957 and 1958, resulted in the Randwick brook (the Ozlebrook) discharging into the canal route instead of passing under it by way of a siphon beneath Foundry Lock. The Stroudwater Navigation runs parallel to the Frome for most of its length westwards from Stroud, and was an important and essential part of Stroud's growth as a town. At one time there was an access route for craft to enter the Frome in Dudbridge meadows, and to reach Kimmins Mill.
The canal was a thriving thoroughfare for trade, putting Stroud on the map during the industrial revolution. At Stonehouse the river was part of a novel, ill-fated, scheme by John Kemmett and others, in the 1760s, to create a canal without locks. Goods would be carried on boats in containers, each capable of holding about one ton, and the containers would be transferred from one level to the next by cranes erected wherever there was a mill weir. The scheme proved to be too costly, and was abandoned after about 5 miles (8 km) of river had been improved.
The valley from Chalford to Stroud, known as the Golden Valley, is one of the Stroud Five Valleys; it carries the railway line and the Thames and Severn Canal to the Sapperton Tunnels under the Cotswolds. The Sapperton Valley nature reserve is one of several in the area.
- Stroud in Victoria County History of Gloucestershire
- "Frome - Source to Ebley Mill". Catchment Data Explorer. Environment Agency. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
- "Frome - Ebley Mill to conf R Severn". Catchment Data Explorer. Environment Agency. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
- Source - Nettleton springs
- Mouth - Upper Framilode
- Hadfield 1969, pp. 296-297.
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