River Wylye

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River Wylye
River Wylye at Norton Bavant.jpg
River Wylye at Norton Bavant
CitiesMaiden Bradley, Warminster, Codford St Peter, Wilton
Physical characteristics
SourceRodmead Farm
 • locationMaiden Bradley, Wiltshire, England
 • coordinates51°07′25″N 2°18′11″W / 51.12361°N 2.30306°W / 51.12361; -2.30306
 • elevation148 m (486 ft)
MouthConfluence with River Nadder
 • location
Wilton, Wiltshire, England
 • coordinates
51°04′45″N 1°51′45″W / 51.07917°N 1.86250°W / 51.07917; -1.86250Coordinates: 51°04′45″N 1°51′45″W / 51.07917°N 1.86250°W / 51.07917; -1.86250
 • elevation
69 m (226 ft)
Length45 km (28 mi)
Basin size470 km2 (180 sq mi)
 • locationChitterne Brook [1]
 • average0.3 m3/s (11 cu ft/s)
 • minimum0.1 m3/s (3.5 cu ft/s)
 • maximum0.6 m3/s (21 cu ft/s)
Basin features
 • leftChitterne Brook, River Till

The River Wylye (/ˈwli/ WY-lee) is a southern England chalk stream, with clear water flowing over gravel. It is popular with anglers for fly fishing.[1] A half-mile stretch of the river and three lakes in Warminster are a local nature reserve.[2][3]


The Wylye rises below the White Sheet Downs just south of Maiden Bradley in the west of Wiltshire, then flows north through the Deverill valley. A tributary which feeds the man-made Shearwater lake joins near Crockerton.[4] On the southern edge of Warminster the river turns to head generally east south east, forming the Wylye Valley, into which the A36 road and the Wessex Main Line are also squeezed. The river passes through the parishes of Norton Bavant, Heytesbury, Knook, Upton Lovell, Boyton, Codford, Wylye and Wilton, near the southern edge of Salisbury Plain. It is fed by ephemeral, winterbourne streams so water flow can vary.[5]

The river forms part of the River Avon catchment. At Wilton it joins the River Nadder and eventually drains to the sea at Christchurch as part of the Avon.


Two SSSIs are associated with the river:[6] Steeple Langford Down and Wylye and Church Dean Downs.

A vineyard is located near the river's source.[7]

The Wylye valley is dotted with small chocolate box villages composed of thatched cottages and stone-built pubs.


Wilton, and hence Wiltshire (which was originally Wiltonshire), are named after the river. There is also a village of Wylye.

In literature[edit]

The River Wylye forms one of the five rivers referred to in the novel Sarum.


Villages on or near the Wylye include (source to confluence):


  1. ^ "Fishing Breaks". Retrieved 20 November 2007.
  2. ^ "River Wylye". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England.
  3. ^ "Map of River Wylye". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England.
  4. ^ "Wylye (Headwaters)". Environment Agency - Catchment Data Explorer. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  5. ^ "IUCN" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 December 2007. Retrieved 20 November 2007.
  6. ^ "English Nature". Retrieved 20 November 2007.
  7. ^ "W Wilts Tourism". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 20 November 2007.
  8. ^ "The Village of Sutton Veny, Wylye Valley". Retrieved 13 June 2008.