River Yare

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The River Yare is a river in the English county of Norfolk. In its lower reaches the river connects with the navigable waterways of The Broads.

The river rises south of Dereham close to the village of Shipdham. From there it flows in a generally eastward direction passing Barnham Broom and is joined by the River Tiffey before reaching Bawburgh. It then skirts the southern fringes of the city of Norwich, passing through Colney, Cringleford, Lakenham and Trowse. At Whitlingham it is joined by the River Wensum, which flows through the centre of the city, before flowing eastward into The Broads, passing the villages of Bramerton, Surlingham, Rockland St. Mary and Cantley. Just before Reedham at Hardley Cross (erected in 1676[1]) it is joined by the River Chet. The cross marks the ancient boundary between the City of Norwich and Borough of Great Yarmouth. Beyond Reedham the river passes the famously isolated marshland settlement of Berney Arms before entering the tidal lake of Breydon Water. Here the Yare is joined by the Rivers Bure and Waveney and finally flows into the North Sea at Gorleston, Great Yarmouth.[2][3]

The river is navigable to small coastal vessels from Norwich to the sea, and in former times carried significant commercial traffic to that city. At Reedham the river is joined by the Haddiscoe Cut, a canal which provides a direct navigable link to the River Waveney at Haddiscoe avoiding Breydon Water.

Contents

Navigation

The river provides a navigable link between Norwich and the North Sea, but silting has been a long-standing problem. In 1698, an Act of Parliament was obtained which allowed duty to be collected for any coal traffic using the river. The money raised was to pay for improvements to the course of the river and to the harbour at Great Yarmouth, but the majority of it went towards harbour improvements, and little improvement of the river occurred. Three more acts attempted to rectify the situation, but the river continued to be neglected. A fifth act, obtained in 1772, sought to address the problem in a different way, and specified how the tolls were to be used. 15 per cent was to be given to Norwich for river improvements between the city and Hardly Cross, 25 per cent was given to Yarmouth for improvements to the lower river between Hardly Cross and the town, with a further 40 per cent set aside for maintenance of Yarmouth harbour. Other rivers benefitted from the remaining 20 per cent.[4]

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