River Kennet

River Kennet

The upper reaches of the River Kennet near Avebury
The Kennet is a river in the south of England, and a tributary of the River Thames. The lower reaches of the river are navigable to river craft and are known as the Kennet Navigation, which, together with the Avon Navigation, the Kennet and Avon Canal and the Thames, links the cities of Bristol and London. The local government district of Kennet in Wiltshire is named after it.

The River Kennet has been assigned as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) from near its sourcein Marlborough down to Woolhampton. This is primarily because it has an extensive range of rareplants and animals that are unique to chalk watercourses. [cite web
url = http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/2000164.pdf
title = SSSI designation for River Kennet
accessdate = 2008-03-18


One of the Kennet's sources is Swallowhead Spring near Silbury Hill in the county of Wiltshire, the other being a collection of tributaries to the North of Avebury near the villages of Uffcott and Broad Hinton which flow south past Avebury and join up with the waters from Swallowhead Springs.From there the river flows through Marlborough, Hungerford and Newbury before flowing into the Thames on the reach above Sonning Lock at Reading in Berkshire.

The upper reaches of the River Kennet are served by two tributaries. The River Og which flows into the Kennet at Marlborough and the River Dun which enters at Hungerford. The Kennet's principal tributaries are the River Lambourn, the River Enborne and the Foudry Brook. For six miles to the west of, and through, Reading, the Kennet supports a secondary channel, known as the Holy Brook, which formerly powered the water mills of Reading Abbey.


The River Kennet is navigable from the junction with the Thames at Kennet Mouth near Reading, upstream to Newbury where it joins the Kennet and Avon Canal.

The first mile of the river, from Kennet Mouth to the High Bridge in Reading, has been navigable since at least the thirteenth century, providing wharfage for both the townspeople and Reading Abbey. Originally this short stretch of navigable river was under the control of the Abbey; today it, including Blake's Lock, is administered by the Environment Agency as if it were part of the River Thames.

From High Bridge through to Newbury, the river was made navigable between 1718 and 1723 under the supervision of the engineer John Hore of Newbury. Known as the Kennet Navigation, this stretch of the river is now administered by British Waterways as part of the Kennet and Avon Canal. Throughout the navigation, stretches of natural riverbed alternate with 11 miles of artificially created lock cuts, and a series of locks including; County, Fobney, Southcote, Burghfield, Garston, Sheffield, Sulhamstead and Tyle Mill overcome a rise of 130 feet.


It was formerly known as the "Cunnit". Local historian Michael Dames claims the name is related to the word "cunt", though it is more likely derived from the nearby Roman settlement of Cunetio (now Mildenhall).cite book | title = The Silbury Treasure | first = Michael | last = Dames | year = 1976] cite web | title = Footsteps of the Goddess in Britain and Ireland | url = http://www.second-congress-matriarchal-studies.com/dames.html | publisher = Societies of Peace - Second World Congress on Matriarchal Societies | accessdate = April 30 | accessyear = 2007] Following this idea it may be related with the "cynetes" a very ancient people.

See also

* List of rivers in England
* Locks on the Kennet and Avon Canal


River item line|upstream=River Pang (south)
downstream=River Loddon (south)

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kennet — may refer to:*Kennet (district), a local government district in Wiltshire *Kennet School, a school in Thatcham *River Kennet, a tributary of the Thames *Kennet and Avon Canal, a canal in southern England *Kennet Partners, a private equity firm… …   Wikipedia

  • Kennet (district) — Kennet is a local government district in Wiltshire, England. Its council is based in Devizes. It is named after the River Kennet.The district was formed on April 1, 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, by a merger of the municipal boroughs… …   Wikipedia

  • Kennet and Avon Canal — The Kennet and Avon Canal is a canal in southern England. The name may refer to either the route of the original Kennet and Avon Canal Company, which linked the River Kennet at Newbury to the River Avon at Bath, or to the entire navigation… …   Wikipedia

  • River Thames — Thames redirects here. For other uses, see Thames (disambiguation). Coordinates: 51°29′56″N 0°36′31″E / 51.4989°N 0.6087°E / 5 …   Wikipedia

  • River Lambourn — The River Lambourn is a chalk stream in the English county of Berkshire. It rises in the Berkshire Downs near its namesake village of Lambourn and is a tributary of the River Kennet. The upper reaches of the river are seasonal, with a perennial… …   Wikipedia

  • River Dun, Berkshire — The northern River Dun (one of two short rivers of that name rising in Wiltshire, England) flows into Berkshire to join the River Kennet.The River Dun rises near Great Bedwyn, Wiltshire and flows north east into Berkshire as a tributary of the… …   Wikipedia

  • River Pang — Geobox|River name = Pang native name = other name = other name1 = image size = image caption = The River Pang in Pangbourne etymology = country country = England country1 = state = state1 = region type = Counties region = Berkshire region1 =… …   Wikipedia

  • Kennet — Recorded in the modern spellings of Kennet and Kennett, this is an English surname. It appears to be locational from either residence by the River Kennet in the county of Suffolk or from the village of Kennett in Cambridgeshire, or from similarly …   Surnames reference

  • River Loddon — Geobox|River name = Loddon native name = other name = other name1 = image size = image caption = etymology = country country = England country1 = state = state1 = region type = Counties region = Hampshire region1 = Berkshire region2 = district… …   Wikipedia

  • River Enborne — The River Enborne is a river that rises near Newbury, Berkshire and flows into the River Kennet.Its source is in the county of Hampshire, and part of its course forms the border between Berkshire and Hampshire.Unlike the name suggests, it does… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.