The River Churn
The Churn leaves the Thames on the right bank side about 50 yards downstream of the Cricklade Town Bridge. It passes under the High Street some 400 yards north of Cricklade Bridge
And then the High Street follows it up to the A419 (high speed dual carriageway).There it is very close to the Thames & Severn Canal which it now follows for several miles. The junction with the North Wilts Canal is just ahead.
1885: The River Churn as described in "The Royal River"; also 1891: "Rivers of Great Britain, The Thames from Source to Sea"
[ Following downstream from Seven Springs to Cricklade ] -
Following the fortunes of the Seven Springs you naturally enter with some degree of zeal into an expedition down the River Churn, and this you are able to do without losing sight of the excellent road between Cheltenham and Cirencester.
The pretty little dancing trout stream runs hard by the highway, mostly through a succession of beautiful estates, and generally thickly overhung with alders and other bushes.
Drayton hit off the character of the stream most accurately in calling it the "nimble-footed Churn"; and its picturesqueness, and musical flow between the wooden hills and through the fat meadows, as we near Cirencester, appeal to us, even on the score of sentiment.
Surely it is more pleasant to identify this as the Thames than that commonplace current proceeding from the Thames Head series of springs.
There is no necessity, however, to trace in detail the course of the beck-like Churn, by wooded uplands teeming with game, and through rustic villages and sequestered grounds.
It runs through Rendcombe to North Cerney, down by Baunton, and through the once famous and still interesting town of Cirencester.
The Fosse-way mentioned in connection with Thames Head was one of three great Roman roads which meet here.
Mentioned. by Roman historians as Corinium ands Cornovium, the strongly fortified city of Cirencester, the metropolis of a Roman province was, there is reason for believing, a considerable British town before it became a Roman centre.
In the time of Henry VIII. the Roman wall surrounding the city might yet be traced, and, as the histories of Gloucestershire show, many Roman remains have from time to time been discovered here.
The Churn sustains its brook-like character alongside the Cricklade road by Addington, South Cerney, and Hailstone Hill, and then within a mile of the town of Cricklade it unites with the other Branch issuing from Thames Head.
[ And reverting to our normal direction - upstream from Cricklade ]-
1610: Camden -
The river Churne, when it hath left Circester behind him, six miles neare to Dounamveny, an ancient seate of the Hungerfords, joyneth with Isis.
North Wilts Canal Aqueduct
Under the Cerney Wick to Latton Road.
Follow the path to the east and then turn left at the canal to reach the Cotswold Water Park Gateway Centre (café & shop).
Spine Road Bridge, B4696
Site of (Dismantled) railway crossing
Bridge, South Cerney
There are two channels here.
Fanshawe Weir, South Cerney
There is a fairly emphatic notice that this is private.
The Churn now heads north.
Dismantled Railway Bridge
StreetMap Over Canal?
The River Churn approaches the A419 and then turns alongside it.
StreetMap: At Kings Hill roundabout it goes underneath it.
1796: Cirencester, Boydells History of the Thames.
Roundabout Bridge, A419 / A435
This section is all best seen in
I think there are four bridges close beside the A435 as Cirencester is skirted beside this very busy road.
Roundabout Bridge A435
The next section is through a small green area where there are two channels perhaps one is a millstream.
The weir is visible from the A435.
Map: A435 Bridge
The River Churn turns North again through water meadows away from Cirencester following the A435.
StreetMap: Baunton Bridge
StreetMap: A417 Bridge
Under the dual carriageway A417 next to the A435, the Churn continues to follow the A435.
StreetMap: Perrotts Brook Bridge
Perrotts Brook is a tributary joining on the Left bank just above the bridge.
Perrott's Brook flows from the village of Bagendon.
(I wonder if Professor Tolkien knew that Village?)
The water meadows shrink until they are just a small flat area in the centre of an increasing steep sided valley. Road and River compete for room.
StreetMap: North Cerney Bridge(S)
StreetMap: Monarchs Way Bridge
Rendcomb Village is uphill to the east and then the Rendcomb College in Rendcomb Park.
Rendcomb Park Bridge
The valley is now wild and beautiful.
StreetMap: Marsden Bridge
All the time following the A435 a short distance away to the west (Left bank).
StreetMap: Monkham Wood Bridge
Above the bridge the Hilcot Brook joins from the north, but the Churn comes from the west.
Colesbourne Church Bridge
Colesbourne Park Bridge
And eventually under the A435 the River has followed from Cirencester.
Colesbourne A435 Bridge
The valley sides are now of several hundred feet.
Penhill Farm Bridge
StreetMap: Cockleford Farm Bridge
The other side of the main road a few feet away is Tomtits Bottom.
StreetMap: Cockleford Bridge
View upstream from Coberley Bridge.
And then in just half a mile another lake -
The Lake just below the A436 and the Seven Springs.
This is in the grounds of the
Seven Springs Public House (good pub grub)
on the A436 near its junction with the A435.
The inlet to the lake is a culvert under the A436, the other side of which is(/are?) Seven Springs.