River Waveney

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The Waveney is a river which forms the border between Suffolk and Norfolk, England, for much of its length within The Broads.



The source of the River Waveney is a ditch on the east side of the B1113 road between the villages of Redgrave, Suffolk and South Lopham, Norfolk. The ditch on the other side of the road is the source of the River Little Ouse which continues the county boundary and, via the Great Ouse, reaches the sea at King's Lynn. (See map).[1] It is thus claimed that during periods of heavy rainfall Norfolk can be considered to be an island. The explanation of this oddity is that the valley in which the rivers rise was formed, not by these rivers but by water spilling from Lake Fenland. This was a periglacial lake of the Devensian glacial, fifteen or twenty thousand years ago. The ice sheet closed the natural drainage from the Vale of Pickering, the Humber and The Wash so that a lake of a complex shape formed in the Vale of Pickering, the Yorkshire Ouse valley, the lower Trent valley and the Fenland basin. This valley was its spillway into the southern North Sea basin, thence to the English Channel basin.

The river flows in an easterly direction though the towns of Diss, Bungay and Beccles. From its source it forms the southern boundary of Bressingham and Roydon before reaching Diss. Next come Scole, Billingford with its windmill, Brockdish and Needham before passing south of Harleston. Then come Mendham with its links to the artist Alfred Munnings, Wortwell, Homersfield with its famous bridge, now the oldest bridge in England constructed from concrete,[2] which is a Grade II listed structure and was restored in 1995,[3] followed by Denton and Earsham.

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