River Wensum Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the River Wensum in Norfolk.

  • The River Wensum is a tributary of the River Yare (even though the Yare is larger than the Wensum).
  • The river passes by Carrow Road (Norwich City FC’s stadium). One end of the ground was once named The River End.
  • The name Wensum comes from the Old English for winding.
  • The Wensum’s source is in northwest Nofolk, close to the villages of Colkirk and Whissonsett.
  • It flows through several towns and villages, including: Sculthorpe, Fakenham, Great Ryburgh and Norwich.
  • There are lots of water mills on the River Wensum, including: Hempton Mill, Guist Mill, Bintry Mill, Lyng Mill and Hellesdon Mill.
  • The Wensum has three tributaries – River Tat, River Tud and River Ainse.
  • The River Wensum is a chalk river and it is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
  • Its lower sections form part of the Norfolk Broads.
  • The River Wensum is approximately 75km long.
  • The river is popular among anglers for its barbel, chub and brown trout.
  • Several bridges in Norwich span the River Wensum, including: Bishop Bridge (dating from 1345), Foundry Bridge, Carrow Bridge, and Whitefriars Bridge.
  • The River Wensum joins the River Yare at Whitlingham.

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Vauxhall Bridge: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Vauxhall Bridge.

  • The Vauxhall Bridge is a an arch bridge that crosses the River Thames in London, linking Vauxhall and Pimlico.

  • It is made from steel and granite and opened in 1906.
  • Vauxhall Bridge replaced Regent Bridge (later known as Vauxhall Bridge), which was used from 1816 to 1898.
  • When the new Vauxhall Bridge opened, it was the first London bridge to carry trams.
  • Today, the bridge is an important transport link, carrying the A202 road across the Thames.
  • The bridges piers are decorated with 8 vast bronze statues, designed by Alfred Drury and Frederick Pomeroy. The statue titles include, Agriculture, Architecture, Education, Fine Arts and Engineering. They are not visible from the bridge itself.
  • The Architecture statue holds a model of St Paul’s Cathedral in her hand.
  • The government was concerned that the bridge would be bombed during World War 2, but it survived the Blitz.
  • In 1993, in the River Thames next to Vauxhall Bridge, archaeologists discovered the remains of on of the earliest bridge-like structures in London. It has been dated between 1550 BC – 300 BC and historians think it had been dismantled before Julius Caesar‘s Roman expedition to Britain.
  • The bridge was designed by Sir Alexander Binnie and Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice.
  • It has total length of 247 metres, and it is 24 metres wide.

River Taff: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the River Taff.

  • The River Taff is formed at Cefn-coed-y-cymmer in Merthyr Tydfil in Wales at the confluence (meeting point) of the rivers Taf Fechan and Taf Fawr.

  • It flows through Pontypridd, underneath the M4 Motorway and Cardiff. It’s mouth is in Cardiff Bay, close to the mouth of the River Ely.
  • The River Taff is 64 km long.
  • Some of its tributaries include, the River Cynon, the River Rhondda and the Nant Clydach.
  • In the mid-1800s, Isambard Kingdom Brunel came up with plans to divert the River Taff to the west, away from its old course around Cardiff Castle. This allowed for Cardiff Central Station to be built in an area that had previously been prone to flooding.

River Taff

  • The river now flows next to Cardiff Arms Park and the Millennium Stadium.
  • The River Taff used to be heavily polluted by industry along its banks. In recent years, the water quality has improved and it is becoming one of the best rivers for salmon and trout in all of Wales, although there is concern about the numbers of grayling in the river.
  • The Taff Trail follows the course of the River Taff, and takes in the sites of Castle Coch, Rhondda Heritage Park and Cyfarthfa Castle.

The River Taff

  • The Pont-y-Cafnau (the Bridge of Troughs) which crosses the River Taff in Merthyr Tydfil, is the world’s earliest surviving iron railway bridge.
  • In 1795-6, J. M. W. Turner created a painting of the construction of a new bridge in Cardiff over the River Taff.

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River Tyne: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the River Tyne.

  • The River Tyne is formed at Warden Rock near Hexham at the confluence (meeting point) of two rivers, the North Tyne (with its source in Kielder, Northumberland) and the South Tyne (with its source in Alston Moor, Cumbria).

  • The river flows through Corbridge, divides Newcastle and Gateshead, divides Jarrow and Wallsend and flows between South Shields and Tynemouth before flowing into the North Sea.
  • From the 13th century until the mid-20th century, the River Tyne was a key route for the export of coal.
  • There are shipyards at South Shields and Hubburn.
  • The name Tyne was first recorded in Anglo-Saxon times, but its meaning isn’t clear.
  • It is believed that the in Roman times the River Verda was the River Tyne.
  • The River Tyne is crossed more than 20 times, by a variety of different bridges and tunnels. These include, the New Tyne Tunnel, the High Level Bridge,the Tyne Bridge, the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, the King Edward VII Bridge, the Constantius Bridge and the Ovingham Bridge.

River Tyne

  • The River Tyne has featured in many songs over the years, including: Fog on the Tyne by Lindisfarne, This Is a Low by Blur, Oliver’s Army by Elvis Costello, Blood on the Rooftops by Genesis and Driving in My Car by Madness.
  • Barbel (a type of fish) were introduced to the River Tyne in the 1980s in Hexham.
  • There is also a River Tyne in Scotland.

Tyne Bridge

  • Anglers come to the River Tyne to catch salmon and sea trout.
  • Archaeologists have discovered the remains of beavers and moose on the banks of the River Tyne.
  • The headland at the mouth of the Tyne has been home to people since the Iron Age.
  • Tynemouth Castle is built on a headland overlooking Tynemouth Pier. Built in the 13th and 14th centuries, the castle incoporated an earlier Priory.

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River Ribble: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the River Ribble.

  • The River Ribble starts at Ribblehead at the confluence (meeting point) of the Gayle Beck and Cam Beck rivers.

  • Its mouth is between Southport and Lytham St. Annes on the Irish Sea coast.
  • The River Ribble is 121 km in length, and flows through Settle, Clitheroe, Ribchester and Preston.
  • Its tributaries include, the River Hodder, the River Calder and the River Darwen.
  • The Ribble Way is a footpath that follows the course of the river along the Ribble Valley.
  • The river flows through North Yorkshire and Lancashire.
  • Both the Liverpool Canal and the Lancaster Canal are linked to the River Ribble.
  • The Ribble is one of the key breeding spots for Atlantic salmon.
  • In Roman times it is thought that the River Ribble was referred to as the Belisama, and the remains of a Roman fort have been found at the crossing-point at Ribchseter.

River Ribble

  • In 1840, a large hoard of Viking silver was discovered on the banks of the River Ribble at Cuerdale.
  • Many protected species live in the River Ribble, including the Eurasian otter and white-clawed crayfish.
  • The mouth of the River River Estuary is about 10 miles wide.
  • Archaeologists have found evidence to suggest that people have been living on the banks of the Ribble since Neolithic times.
  • In the time of the Anglo-Saxons, the River Ribble formed part of the northern border of Mercia, one of the kingdoms in Britain.
  • J.R.R. Tolkien enjoyed walking in the Ribble Valley, and some people believe that the landscape helped him to come up with Hobbiton, one of the regions of Middle Earth in his The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It has been said that the old ferry that used to cross the Ribble where it is joined by the rivers Calder and Hodder (shut down since the 1950s), was the inspiration for the Bucklebury Ferry. The Brandywine River in Tolkien’s story was supposedly based on the River Hodder.

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River Forth: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the River Forth.

  • The source of the River Forth is in Loch Ard, about 30km west of Stirling. Its mouth is the Firth of Forth, an estuary of the North Sea.

  • The river flows through Abrfoyle and Stirling and past Cambus, Alloa, Fallin and Airth.
  • It is 47km in length.
  • Stirling harbour was a bustling port in the 16th and 17th centuries. Stirling had a strong relationship with towns in the Netherlands, and many goods were imported from Europe and exported to Europe during this time.
  • During World War 2, Stirling was an important port for the import of tea, but today Stirling harbour is no longer in use.
  • In Stirling there has been a bridge across the Forth River since the 13th century.
  • The Battle of Stirling Bridge was fought in 1297 between the forces of William Wallace and Andrew Moray, and the English army during the First War of Scottish Independence.
  • The Forth is spanned by numerous bridges, including: The Clackmannanshire Bridge, the Forth Bridge, the Forth Road Bridge and the Queensferry Crossing (still under construction).
  • Stirling Castle overlooks the River Forth.
  • The Forth Islands are a collection of small islands in the Firth of Forth estuary (where the River Forth flows into the North Sea).
  • The Isle of May is the biggest island in the Forth. It became a place of Christian pilgrimage and was raided by the Vikings in 870.
  • The Isle of Inchkeith was often used as a quarantine zone during outbreaks of plague and other contagious diseases.

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Forth Bridge: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Forth Bridge.

  • The Forth Bridge is a railway bridge spanning the Firth of Forth in Scotland. It is located less than ten miles from the city of Edinburgh.

  • It is a cantilever bridge and was opened on 4th March 1890.
  • The bridge was designed by Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker.
  • Construction of the bridge began in 1882 and was completed in 1890.
  • One end of the Forth Bridge is in the village of South Queensferry and the other is in North Queensferry.

Forth Bridge

  • When it was opened, it was the longest single cantilever span in the world.
  • The Forth Bridge is more than 2400 metres in length, and has a height of 110 metres above the high water mark.
  • The bridge is sometimes called the Forth Rail Bridge.
  • The bridge was one of the first massive structures in the UK to be made of steel.
  • At some points during the bridge’s construction, more than 4500 men were working on the structure.

The Forth Bridge

  • More than 70 people died working on the project. The Forth Bridge Memorial was erected to honour those who had lost their lives.
  • During World War 2 a German air attack took place over the Forth Bridge. It became known as the the Forth Bridge Raid, but the bridge wasn’t the target, and it was never damaged during the war.
  • In 2015, the Forth Bridge was declared a World Heritage Site.
  • More than 180 trains cross the bridge every day.
  • The image of the Forth Bridge appeared on £1 coins issued in 2004.
  • The bridge, an iconic Scottish landmark, has appeared in several movies and TV shows, including The 39 Steps, directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
  • The phrase ‘like painting the Forth Bridge’ is used to describe a seemingly endless task.
  • More than 6 million rivets were used in the original construction of the bridge.

Infinity Bridge: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Infinity Bridge.

  • The Infinity Bridge crosses the River Tees in Stockton-on-Tees in northern England, about a kilometre from Stockton town centre. It links the University of Durham with the Teesdale Business Park.

  • It was opened in 2009 at a cost of 15 million pounds, for cyclists and pedestrians. Today, an estimated 6,000 people a day cross the bridge, a number that is expected to rise.
  • An international architectural design competition was set up so that designs for the bridge could be submitted. Over 200 different designs were received, with the winners being Expedition Engineering.
  • The bridge opened on May 14, 2009 with a light and sound show in front of 20,000 spectators. Several extreme athletes also climbed up the bridge arches, carrying flares.
  • The bridge’s name came from suggestions made by the public. The Infinity Bridge was chosen because the infinity symbol is made by the shape of the bridge and its reflection.
  • The bridge is 240 metres long with a span of 120 metres. Its height is 40 metres and there is a clearance of 8 metres from the bridge to the river below.
  • At night, the walkway across the Infinity Bridge is lit by white and blue LED lighting. The colours change, as people walk across the bridge.
  • The Infinity Bridge is one of over 40 bridges crossing the 137 km River Tees. In 1992, the Princess of Wales Bridge was opened, often called the Diana Bridge.
  • In 2009, the Infinity Bridge won an award for structural excellence, the most important such award in the UK. It has also won a Concrete Society award, and a Green Apple environmental award.
  • The bridge is part of a 320 million pound redevelopment of the area. Nearby Teesport is now one of Britain’s largest and busiest ports, with much of its land reclaimed from the sea.

Millennium Bridge: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Millennium Bridge in London.

  • The Millennium Bridge crosses the River Tames in London, linking the City of London to Bankside and the Tate Modern gallery. It opened in 2000, after taking two years to build.

  • It has a span of 144 metres and is 4 metres wide.
  • The 8 cables supporting the walkway allow for 5,000 people to be on the bridge safely at the same time.
  • The Millennium Bridge was the first new bridge over the Thames since Tower Bridge was built in 1894. There are over 200 bridges that cross the Thames, and 27 tunnels.
  • Sculptor Anthony Caro and architect Norman Foster designed the bridge’s innovative look. The bridge is owned and operated by a charitable trust, Bridge House Estates.
  • The bridge was nicknamed the ‘wobbly bridge’ after it opened, as pedestrians discovered it swayed when walked across. It was closed until 2002, so improvements could be made.
  • Bridges wobbling or vibrating can be a common problem. Albert Bridge, which also crosses the Thames, has a sign warning marching groups of soldiers to break step when crossing.
  • The Millennium Bridge has featured in several films since it opened. It is attacked and collapses into the River Thames in the 2009 film, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
  • Because the Millennium Bridge is in an old area of London, archaeological excavations took place along the river bank before it was built. The remains of several buildings from the Middle Ages were excavated.
  • There are several other Millennium Bridges in the UK and around the world. In Britain, Glasgow, York, Manchester, Lancaster and Gateshead all have bridges of the same name.
  • One of the best views of St. Paul’s Cathedral is enjoyed from on the bridge. Today, many views of the cathedral are protected, meaning that tall buildings can’t be built to spoil the view.