River Churn

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River Churn
River Churn near Baunton - geograph.org.uk - 696881.jpg
River Churn near Baunton
Country England
Counties Gloucestershire, Wiltshire
Towns Cirencester, Cricklade
Physical characteristics
 - location Seven Springs
 - coordinates 51°51′04″N 2°03′01″W / 51.8511°N 2.0504°W / 51.8511; -2.0504
 - elevation 200 m (660 ft)
Mouth River Thames
 - location
Cricklade, Wiltshire
 - coordinates
51°38′42″N 1°51′12″W / 51.6450°N 1.8533°W / 51.6450; -1.8533Coordinates: 51°38′42″N 1°51′12″W / 51.6450°N 1.8533°W / 51.6450; -1.8533
 - elevation
79 m (259 ft)
Length 25 km (16 mi)
 - location Cerney Wick, South Cerney
 - average 0.86 m3/s (30 cu ft/s)
 - minimum 0.00 m3/s (0 cu ft/s)5 November 1995
 - maximum 4.70 m3/s (166 cu ft/s)31 January 1971
 - location Cirencester
 - average 0.77 m3/s (27 cu ft/s)
 - location Perrott's Brook
 - average 0.62 m3/s (22 cu ft/s)
Basin features
River system River Thames

The River Churn is the first tributary river of the River Thames. It rises in the Cotswolds at Seven Springs near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England and flows south across the Cotswold dip slope, passing through Cirencester and joining the Thames in the parish of Cricklade in Wiltshire. Its length from source to confluence with the Thames is considerably greater than that of the Thames from Thames Head; its flow is also more consistent than the winterbourne Thames, but the Churn is regarded as a tributary historically and therefore by most geography guides. The length of the Churn is approximately 25 kilometres. It is classed as a main river and thus falls under the jurisdiction of the Environment Agency as opposed to the local authority.[1]

The name Churn is ancient, certainly pre-Roman and probably has its origins in the Celtic language, spoken by the Dobunni tribe, who controlled the area before the Roman conquest in the 1st century. The original name may have sounded similar to Korinn. It has been suggested that the origin of the word is associated with the ancient British Cornovii tribe.[2]

Cognate names and name elements from the area are Cerney, Ciren and Corin as found in the settlement names of North Cerney, Cirencester, South Cerney, and Cerney Wick in the south of South Cerney. Cirencester's original recorded name of Corinium Dobunnorum also shares this root. All these places adjoin the River Churn. The Churn and the Thames feed the waters of a western bisection of the Cotswold Water Park, converted redundant gravel beds between Cirencester and Cricklade.

Much of the catchment basin of the Churn is known to have been an important area of Roman settlement in the second to fourth centuries AD.[citation needed]

As of the year 2006 the national government is engaged in a planning study to analyse methods of mitigating future flooding associated with the River Churn.[3] However, at times the River Churn is known to stop flowing completely; in September 2011 the river bed was completely dry at Latton.

See also


  1. ^ River Churn Crossing and Data
  2. ^ Cirencester History Summary
  3. ^ United Kingdom Environment Agency River Churn Catchment, Autumn, 2006

External links

Media related to River Churn at Wikimedia Commons

Next confluence upstream River Thames Next confluence downstream
- River Churn River Key (south)
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