Tetbury Avon

Coordinates: 51°34′56″N 2°05′34″W / 51.5821°N 2.09289°W / 51.5821; -2.09289
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Tetbury Avon
Little Avon
River Avon, Tetbury Branch - geograph.org.uk - 70023.jpg
Tetbury Avon near Malmesbury
EtymologyWelsh afon - river
Native nameIngleburn (Old English)
RegionWest of England
DistrictGloucestershire, Wiltshire
CityTetbury, Malmesbury
Physical characteristics
SourceWor Well
 • locationTetbury, Gloucestershire, England
 • coordinates51°38′36″N 2°08′33″W / 51.6432°N 2.1424°W / 51.6432; -2.1424
 • elevation375 ft (114 m)
MouthBristol Avon
 • location
Malmesbury, Wiltshire, England
 • coordinates
51°34′56″N 2°05′34″W / 51.5821°N 2.09289°W / 51.5821; -2.09289
 • elevation
230 ft (70 m)
Length7 mi (11 km), south easterly
Basin size28.5 sq mi (74 km2)
 • average24.4 cu ft/s (0.69 m3/s)
 • minimum1 cu ft/s (0.028 m3/s)
 • maximum141 cu ft/s (4.0 m3/s)
Basin features
 • rightCutwell Brook, Wormwell Brook
River systemBristol Avon

The Tetbury Avon, also known as the River Avon (Tetbury Branch), Little Avon or Ingleburn (Anglo-Saxon – English river), is a tributary of the Bristol Avon in south-west England. It rises at Tetbury in Gloucestershire and flows in a generally south-easterly direction, joining the Sherston Avon at Malmesbury in Wiltshire.[1] The water flow has been reduced by public water extraction from its source aquifer in the Cotswold Hills. In the past watermills were used for fulling wool and grinding corn; one working mill survives.


The Tetbury Avon rises at Wor Well to the north east of Tetbury in the Cotswold Hills. It flows first in a southerly direction, joined on the right bank by the Cutwell Brook at the southeast of the town. The river now turns in the southeasterly direction into a steep valley through Estcourt Park, where it is joined on the right by the Wormwell Brook, which has its origin at Westonbirt. Passing through Shipton Wood the river forms a lake, created as part of the Estcourt Estate in the late 18th century.[2] It then enters Wiltshire near the village of Brokenborough, flowing to the north of Malmesbury where it joins the Sherston Avon at the eastern edge of the town.


As is common amongst Cotswold streams, many watermills were established from early times for fulling wool and grinding corn. Shipton Mill in the wood of the same name still produces organic wheat and rye flours.[3] A mill at this site was recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086.[4]

Natural history[edit]

A population of white-clawed crayfish in the Tetbury Avon has been eradicated by fungi hosted by the invasive North American signal crayfish.[5]


The Environment Agency has a gauging station at Brokenborough and reports a mean flow of 24.4 cubic feet per second (0.69 m3/s) with a maximum of 141 cubic feet per second (4.0 m3/s) and a minimum of 1 cubic foot per second (0.028 m3/s).[6] It is believed that abstraction of public water supplies from the Great Oolite aquifer of the Cotswolds has reduced flows in the Tetbury Avon, making it difficult to maintain high water quality and having a negative effect on the ecology.[7]


  1. ^ Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 scale Explorer map sheet 168 Stroud, Tetbury & Malmesbury
  2. ^ "Shipton Moyne - Introduction". British History Online. University of London & History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
  3. ^ "Shipton Mill - Home of Organic Flour". Shipton Mill. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
  4. ^ "Shipton Moyne - Economic history". British History Online. University of London & History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
  5. ^ Staff writer (22 November 2008). "Saving British crayfish". Bristol Evening Post. Bristol News and Media. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
  6. ^ "53024 - Tetbury Avon at Brokenborough". Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
  7. ^ "The Bristol Avon Catchment Abstraction Management Strategy" (PDF). Environment Agency. April 2005. p. 14. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 February 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2009.

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