The Rythe

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A forked headwater of the Rythe Claygate
The Rythe in Littleworth Common

The Rythe is a river or stream in north Surrey, England which is generally open and which is a natural woodland feature for approximately half of its course before being variously culverted and a suburban garden feature, passing between Thames Ditton and Long Ditton, then discharging into the Thames, its longest branch is the Arbrook which drains Arbrook Common, a woodland of the mainly wooded Esher Commons.


The Rythe or Wrythe rises at several sources, the furthest being four sources in Prince's Coverts (woodland), all in the parish and ward of Oxshott where on its northern edge it combines to form the Arbrook.[1]

It runs under the six-lane A3 into wooded Arbrook Common there joined by three further headwaters rising in the suburban area of a suburban village with many amenities, Claygate, immediately to the east (right bank).[1][2] It carries on north bounding Littleworth Common and Hinchley Wood to the Scilly Isles roundabout at part of remnant wooded Ditton Marsh, today cast as part of Esher, containing Esher railway station to which its roads (two arterial) connect and in Esher post town. It then follows the Portsmouth Road east through part of Thames Ditton proper and alongside the South Western Main Line. It receives its shorter east branch (rising in Surbiton Golf Course, Long Ditton within Elmbridge) then turns running into the Thames near Ferry Road, 800 metres north.[3]

The Rythe has many clay banks and its lack of depth and width at pinchpoints, as opposed to its historic condition, has been implicated in flash flooding in a few gardens and drainage systems, particularly for its mid-course headwaters in Claygate. A flood alleviation scheme was therefore drawn up in 2002 between flood alleviation authorities. Some of its course is owned by landowners.[4] It discharges into the Thames traditionally dividing Thames Ditton from smaller Long Ditton to the east on the reach above Teddington Lock on the north-western border of the county with the edge of the administrative county of London. Under the headline post town system drawn up the early 20th century its lowest section lies in Thames Ditton.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Next confluence upstream River Thames Next confluence downstream
River Ember
River Mole (south)
The Rythe Longford River, Raven's Ait (north)

Coordinates: 51°23′28″N 0°19′34″W / 51.391°N 0.326°W / 51.391; -0.326