River Isle

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This article is about the river in Somerset, England. For the river in France, see Isle (river).
River Isle
River Isle.jpg
River Isle at Isle Brewers
Country England
County Somerset
Region Somerset Levels
Cities Isle Brewers, Ilminster, Knowle St Giles, Chard
 - location Combe St Nicholas, Somerset, England
 - coordinates 50°55′10″N 2°56′23″W / 50.91944°N 2.93972°W / 50.91944; -2.93972
Mouth River Parrett
 - coordinates 51°00′32″N 2°49′55″W / 51.00889°N 2.83194°W / 51.00889; -2.83194Coordinates: 51°00′32″N 2°49′55″W / 51.00889°N 2.83194°W / 51.00889; -2.83194
Length 14 mi (23 km)

The River Isle (also known as the River Ile) flows from its source near Combe St Nicholas, through Somerset, England and discharges into the River Parrett south of Langport near Midelney.

Several small springs merge into the river near Wadeford it then flows north past Donyatt, Ilminster, Puckington, and Isle Abbotts, before joining the Parrett. The first section of the river falls 250 feet (76 m) in 6 miles (9.7 km) and then falls less steeply falling 80 feet (24 m) during the subsequent 8 miles (13 km).[1] As a result, several mills were built on the upper reaches of the river. At least one mill was in existence at the time of the Domesday Book. These mills were an important part of the local economy connecting with the wool trade.[2]

The road bridge over the river at Knowle St Giles is a Grade II listed building.[3]

A lock was built at the junction with the River Parrett, to maintain water levels, when the Westport Canal was built in the 1830s. The canal joins the river approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) before the confluence with the Parrett.[4]

Chard Reservoir was built by damming the river in the 1840s to provide water for the Chard Canal.[5]


  1. ^ "River Isle". Somerset Rivers. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  2. ^ Warren, Derrick. "Mills of the Isle". Combe St Nicholas. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "Road Bridge over River Isle". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "River Isle". Somerset Rivers. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "Chard Reservoir leaflet" (PDF). south Somerset Council. Retrieved 18 November 2010.