River Weaver

River Weaver

name = River Weaver
native_name =
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image_size =
image_caption = River Weaver at Nantwich
etymology =
country = England

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region = Cheshire
region_type = County
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landmark = Anderton Boat Lift
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source_name =
source_location = near Peckforton Castle
source_district =
source_region = Cheshire
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mouth_name =
mouth_location = Weston Point Docks
mouth_location_note = (it previously flowed into the River Mersey)
mouth_district = Runcorn
mouth_region = Cheshire
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The River Weaver is a river, navigable in its lower reaches, running in a curving route anti-clockwise across west Cheshire, northern England.

Perhaps its most notable feature is the Anderton Boat Lift (1875), near Northwich, which links the Weaver with the Trent and Mersey Canal some convert|50|ft|m|0|lk=on above.


From its source in the hills of west Cheshire near Peckforton Castle, it initially flows in a south-easterly direction towards the border with Shropshire, fed by tributaries some of which rise in north Shropshire. Just south of the Cheshire village of Audlem, the river then starts to flow approximately northwards across the Cheshire Plain, and today empties into the Manchester Ship Canal at Weston Point Docks, Runcorn (it previously flowed into the River Mersey).

From the Peckforton Hills, the Weaver flows through the village of Wrenbury, and then passes to the west of Audlem. The first significant town on the river is the market town of Nantwich. Further north, it passes through Winsford, then Northwich, then flows north-west across north Cheshire, joining the Manchester Ship Canal between Frodsham and Sutton Weaver.


The convert|21|mi|km|0|lk=on long stretch north from Winsford Bridge has been made navigable (as the Weaver Navigation) by dredging and cuts. Acts of Parliament dating back to 1721 were introduced to allow the river to be 'canalised' to carry freight, including salt and chemicals).

The major town on the navigation is Northwich. Just below here, the Weaver flows past the Anderton Boat lift, which for the vast majority of leisure boats is the only connection with the rest of the waterway network. The river itself is not navigable below Sutton Weaver: navigation beyond this point (to Weston Point Docks) is on the Weston Canal, past heavy (chemical) industry.

Before the creation of the Weston Canal, the last cut of the Weaver Navigation was the short Frodsham Cut, which avoided the river loop above Frodsham and rejoined the river after descending Frodsham lock. But between 1807 and 1810, the Weston Canal, was built to bypass the lower Weaver entirely. This canal extended the Navigation to Weston Point Docks, and hence the Manchester Ship Canal. Beyond Weston Docks, the Runcorn and Weston Canal continued to Runcorn Docks: these were in turn connected via Runcorn Locks to Runcorn town centre and the terminus of the Bridegwater Canal.

A ship lock (Marsh Lock) was also built to connect the Weston Canal (at a point roughly halfway between Sutton Weaver and Weston Point) to the Weaver at the point where it joined the Ship Canal. The old, narrow, Frodsham lock subsequently became derelict.

There is now normally no traffic on the canal to Weston Docks: of the few boats which travel between the Ship Canal and the River Weaver, all (or almost all) use Weston Marsh Lock.

It is sometimes said that the Weston Canal is not strictly part of the Weaver Navigation, but a British Waterways sign at Marsh Lock does announce the lock as part of the Weaver Navigation.


There is not currently an obvious attractive "destination point" for recreational boaters heading down the Weaver Navigation, although Weston Marsh Lock and the Weston Point Docks are of interest to those who like industrial heritage. However, there are now plans to reopen the Frodsham cut, and to redevelop the Frodsham wharves on the Weaver. Frodsham is an attractive small town, but has no particular focus of interest to visitors. The proposers of the new "waterfront" believe that it will be a popular attraction to boaters and gongoozlers alike.

Rowing is popular on the River Weaver, with competitive clubs in Runcorn, Northwich, [cite web |url= http://www.northwichrowing.co.uk|title= Northwich Rowing Club - Official website|accessdate=2007-09-07] and Acton Bridge (The Grange School). Fishing is also popular along the river especially at Weaver Parkway where it runs adjacent to the West Coast Main Line - the railway line from Crewe to Liverpool/Preston.

Sailing is also popular on the lower reaches of the Weaver at Frodsham from the Weaver Sailing club. [cite web |url= http://www.weaver-sc.org.uk/|title= Weaver Sailing Club - website|accessdate=2007-09-07 |format= |work=] This club caters for all dinghy sailboats with racing on most Sundays.

Notes and References

ee also

*River Weaver Navigation Society
*List of waterway societies in the United Kingdom
*Association of Rivers Trusts (ART)
*Rivers of the United Kingdom

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