River Wye, Buckinghamshire
|Towns||High Wycombe, Bourne End|
|• location||West Wycombe, Chiltern Hills|
|Length||14 km (8.7 mi)|
|• average||1.00 m3/s (35 cu ft/s)|
|• minimum||0.25 m3/s (8.8 cu ft/s)25 December 1973|
|• maximum||4.40 m3/s (155 cu ft/s)25 September 1981|
|• location||High Wycombe|
|• average||0.31 m3/s (11 cu ft/s)|
The River Wye is a river in Buckinghamshire, England. Around 9 miles (14 km) in length, it rises close to West Wycombe village in the Chiltern Hills and flows through High Wycombe before emptying into the River Thames at Bourne End, on the reach above Cookham Lock. In particularly wet years, the source can temporarily change and effectively extend the river by another mile, due to a chalk spring rising above the ground in a field further up the same valley.
High Wycombe takes part of its name from the river, which now runs mostly underground through the town. Pann Mill watermill, at the eastern end of Wycombe, is the last remaining watermill on the River Wye.
There is a long history of water-mills being operated in the Wye Valley which drops about 220 feet (67 m) in its 9-mile (14 km) course. The Domesday Book records eighteen of them in the nine miles between West Wycombe and the Thames. 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.
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.
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)|
|Upper, Francis or Little Mill||1681||1903||423||paper|
|Lower, Mill End or Fryer's Mill||1505||1915||422||Corn & paper|
|Lord, Frog or Ball Mill||1717||1883||421||Corn & paper|
|Ash or Lane's Mill (Broughton/Wynkle's) (2)||1596||1895||419, 420||paper|
|Temple Mill (Gosenham)||1227||1895||corn|
|Rye Mill (Bradshaw's, Sale's, Bowler's, New)||1346||1931||411||paper|
|Bowden Mill (2)||1235||1939||415, 416||Corn & paper|
|Wycombe Marsh Mill (Lower Marsh)||1133||1993||414||paper|
|King's Mill (New)||1725||1939||417||paper|
|Loudwater Mill (2)||1483||1939||430, 431||paper|
|Snakely or Ford's Mill||1767||1970||428||paper|
|Hedge Mill||1235||1970||427||Corn & paper|
|Marsh Green or Upper Marsh Mill||1750||1816||412||Corn & paper|
|Treadway Mill (Overshot's)||1682||1854||418||Corn & paper|
|Clapton Mill||1492||1922||429, 509||Corn, metal & paper|
|Glory Mill (2)||1235||2000||426||Corn & paper|
|Lower Glory Mill||1631||1907||425||Corn & paper|
|Soho Mill||1705||1988||424||Corn & paper|
|Prince's Mill (Egham Green) (3)||1730||1865||287, 288, 289||Corn & paper|
|Gunpowder Mill (Jackson's)||1705||1980||286||Corn & paper|
|Hedsor Mill||1492||1980||285||Corn & paper|
|Lower Bourne End Mill||1719||1895||284||Corn & paper|
- Bucks Free Press River Clean-up Project gets Underway 1 October 2008
- Pann Mill Watermill
- L. John Mayes (1985). "Paper in the Wye Valley". In G T Mandl (ed.). Three Hundred Years in Paper. London:G T Mandl.
- "Brief History of High Wycombe". Buckinghamshire County Council. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
- "Wooburn and Bourne End Parish Council". Retrieved 8 July 2010.
- Alan Mead (1999), Days of Glory, Far Out Publications