East Lyn River Facts

  • Located in the English county of Devon, the East Lyn River flows into the Bristol Channel at Lynmouth.
  • The Lynmouth Flood took place on the East Lyn River in 1952. It was caused by a log jam forming near Watersmeet. Rocks and fallen trees were carried in floodwaters by the West Lyn River and piled up as a landslide dam. The dam broke and, due to the rivers converging, water rushed down the East Lyn. Dozens of buildings were destroyed and 34 people lost their lives
Lynmouth Flood Damage 1952
Lynmouth Flood Damage 1952
  • The East Lyn River is a popular fishing spot for trout and salmon.
  • The river has been assessed as a Grade 4 paddle for whitewater kayakers. It presents lots of technical challenges.
  • Herons are often spotted on the East Lyn River.
  • The East Lyn River is formed by the joining of Oare Water and Badgworthy Water below Malmsmead.
  • The East Lyn River is only two miles in length.
  • Lynmouth straddles the confluence (meeting point) of the East Lyn River and the West Lyn River.
  • Devil’s Cleave in James Herbert’s The Secret of Crickley Hollow book is based on the East Lyn River valley.
  • Lynmouth had one of the UK’s first hydro-electric power stations (fed by the East Lyn River’s fast-flowing waters), and Lynmouth was one of the first places to have electric street lamps. The power station survived the 1952 Flood, but it was later demolished in order to widen the river.
  • The point where the East Lyn River combines with Farley Water is called Watersmeet. The surrounding area is covered by woodland – one of the largest surviving examples of ancient woodland in the south west of England.
  • The Watersmeet woodlands are home to ravens, redstarts, pied flycatchers, and all three species of woodpeckers.

Visit our Rivers resources page to discover more facts about rivers.