River Hamble

River Hamble

Infobox River
river_name = River Hamble

caption = The River Hamble looking upstream towards Botley from Fosters Copse. Dock Copse can be seen on the left bank. Bloomfield Copse is on the right bank.
origin = Bishops Waltham, Hampshire.
mouth = Southampton Water
basin_countries = England
length = 12 km (7.5 mi)

The River Hamble is a river in Hampshire, England. It rises near Bishop's Waltham and flows for some 7.5 miles (12 km) through Botley, Bursledon and Swanwick before entering Southampton Water near Hamble-le-Rice and Warsash.

The Hamble is tidal for approximately half its length and is navigable in its lower reaches, which have facilitated shipbuilding activities since medieval times. Leisure craft are still built there today.

The river, and its shibuilding yards, have also been used for military purposes, particularly during World War II.

Its lower reaches are now very popular for boating, being known throughout the sailing world as "The Heart of British Yachting"

Bishops Waltham to Botley (non-tidal)

, the site of an ancient watermill.

Botley to Bursledon (tidal) - Historic sites

Below Botley, the river becomes tidal and navigable. It gains strength from adjoining streams, draining the surrounding areas of Hedge End, Curdridge, Shedfield and Burridge [Ordnance Survey] .

This section has been extensively used for medieval shipbuilding, using timber grown locally in the neighbouring woods. Nearby Kings Copse, formerley Kings Forest [ Joyce Blyth. The changing face of Hedge End] , indicates the former importance of this area.

The rivers west bank can be accessed from Manor Farm Country Park, where it is possible to walk through Dock Copse [Ordnance Survey] and Fosters Copse [Ordnance Survey] . At extreme low tide, it is just possible to see the remains of the wreck of Henry V's 15 century warship HMS Grace Dieu. This section of the river was also home to HMS Cricket during World War II.

Some 2 miles (3 km) south of Botley, the river passes between the villages of Bursledon and Lower Swanwick and is crossed by the M27 motorway, the Portsmouth to Southampton railway line and the A27 road on three substantial bridges.

Bursledon to Hamble (tidal) - Modern playground

A further 2 miles (3 km) south of Bursledon, the river flows between the villages of Hamble-le-Rice and Warsash before entering Southampton Water.Ordnance Survey (2005). "OS Explorer Map 119 - Meon Valley, Portsmouth, Gosport & Fareham". ISBN 0-319-23596-3.]

A passenger ferry crosses the river between Hamble-le-Rice and Warsash, forming an important link in the Solent Way and E9 European Coastal Path. The river is also the location for several large marinas, the largest being the [http://www.mdlmarinas.co.uk/marinas/port_hamble/ Port Hamble Marina] and boat yards, situated on both banks as far upstream as Bursledon.Ordnance Survey (2005). "OS Explorer Map 119 - Meon Valley, Portsmouth, Gosport & Fareham". ISBN 0-319-23596-3.]

ee also

*Rivers of the United Kingdom


External links

* [http://robbyrne.tripod.com/hamblevalleyrambles/ Walks in the Hamble Valley]
*oscoor|SU552175_region:GB_scale:100000|Map sources for the source of the River Hamble.
*oscoor|SU485049_region:GB_scale:100000|Map sources for the mouth of the River Hamble.
* [http://www.hants.gov.uk/leisure/coast/harbours/hamble/ The River Hamble Harbour Authority]

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