River Test

River Test

The River Test is a river in Hampshire, England. The river has a total length of 40 miles (64 km) and it flows through some beautiful downland from its source near Ashe 10km to the west of Basingstoke (at gbmapping|SU532498) to the sea at the head of Southampton Water. In its upper reaches it is a chalk stream, known throughout the world for the excellent quality of its fly fishing for trout. [Environment Agency (2006). " [http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/commondata/acrobat/river_test__627604pdf Fact file on the River Test] ". Retrieved February 8 2006.]

The river rises near the village of Ashe, and flows west through the villages of Overton, Laverstoke, and the town of Whitchurch, before joining with the Bourne Rivulet at Testbourne and turning into a more southerly direction. It then flows through the villages of Longparish and Middleton to Wherwell and Chilbolton, where the Rivers Dever and Anton contribute to the flow. [Ordnance Survey (2004). "OS Explorer Map 144 - Basingstoke, Alton & Whitchurch". ISBN 0-319-23606-4.]

From Chilbolton the river flows through the villages of Leckford, Longstock, Stockbridge and Houghton to Mottisfont and Kimbridge, where the River Dun joins the flow. From here the village of Timsbury is passed, then through the grounds of Roke Manor before reaching the town of Romsey. On the western edge of Romsey, Sadler's Mill, an 18th Century watermill, sits astride the River Test. [Ordnance Survey (2004). "OS Explorer Map 131 - Romsey, Andover & Test Valley". ISBN 0-319-23600-5.]

South of Romsey, the river flows past the country house of Broadlands, past Nursling that was once the site of a Roman bridge, and between the Southampton suburbs of Totton and Redbridge. Here the river is joined by the River Blackwater and soon becomes tidal, widening out into a considerable estuary that is lined on its northern bank by the container terminals and quays of the Port of Southampton. Finally the Test estuary meets that of the River Itchen and the two continue to the sea as Southampton Water. [Ordnance Survey (2004). "OS Explorer Map OL22 - New Forest". ISBN 0-319-23616-1.]

Between Chilbolton and Redbridge, the river was once paralleled by the abandoned Andover Canal. Much of the length of this canal was converted to a railway in 1865, and much of this railway has since also been abandoned. As a result, most traces of the canal have completely disappeared, although the remains of a stretch of the canal can still be seen between Timsbury and Romsey. [Andover Town Central (2000-2006). " [http://www.andover.towncentral.co.uk/Andover/canal.asp The Andover Canal] ". Retrieved February 9 2006.]

The river is managed by the Environment Agency, whilst the Port of Southampton is the navigation authority for the tidal section below Redbridge.

The River Test has given its name to the Test Valley District, a local government district in the area, and to Southampton Test, a UK Parliament constituency.

In Watership Down

The river plays a significant part in Richard Adams' novel "Watership Down".

After Bigwig leads the breakout from Efrafa, the Watership rabbits are pursued by an Efrafan force led by their Chief, General Woundwort. Hazel carries out a plan devised by Blackberry which leads to their successful escape down the Test on a punt. In the text we are told that this plan would not have been possible on most rivers, but the Test's smooth-flowing, weed-free nature makes it an exception. Shortly afterwards, the punt becomes lodged on a low bridge, and the surviving rabbits are forced to swim under it to get out.


The following are the named tributaries of the River Test, listed in order upstream from Southampton Water. [Ordnance Survey (1995). "OS Landranger Map 185 - Winchester and Basingstoke". ISBN 0-319-22185-7.]

* River Blackwater
* River Dun
* Wallop Brook
* River Anton
**Pilhill Brook
* River Dever
* Bourne Rivulet
**River Swift

ee also

*Rivers of the United Kingdom


External links

*oscoor|SU532498_region:GB_scale:100000|Map sources for the source of the River Test.
*oscoor|SU423098_region:GB_scale:100000|Map sources for the mouth of the River Test.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • River Anton — The River Anton is a river in the English county of Hampshire. It is a tributary of the River Test.The river rises just to the north of the town of Andover, and flows through the centre of the town. It then flows in a southerly direction through… …   Wikipedia

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  • River Itchen, Hampshire — Infobox River river name = River Itchen caption = The Itchen near Avington, origin = Cheriton, Hampshire. mouth = Southampton Water basin countries = United Kingdom (England) length = 45 km (28 mi) watershed = convert|400|km2|sqmi|0|abbr=onThe… …   Wikipedia

  • Test Valley — ▪ district, England, United Kingdom       borough (district), administrative and historic county of Hampshire, England, occupying a mostly rural area in the northwestern part of the county. Situated directly north of the port of Southampton, Test …   Universalium

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