This small river meanders through meadows and attractive villages before joining the River Avon at Keynsham. Its appearance and its normally gentle character belie the fact that it once had an important role in powering mills during the Industrial Revolution. Equally surprising is the fact that it was considered navigable, an essential feature given the fact that some of the materials processed came from far away - copper, iron, and logwood. Activities at the mills included logwood grinding (for dye), copper refining, copper and brass rolling and battery work, tinplate production, and papermaking.
The river's flow was reduced by the construction of reservoirs to supply Bristol and other towns with water, but severe flooding occurred following a storm in July 1968, which claimed lives and caused considerable damage, destroying or damaging ancient bridges.
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