The River Waveney from source to sea

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Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright May 2021, Adrian S Pye; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
Images also under a similar Creative Commons Licence.


Briefly -
The River Waveney forms part of the boundary between Suffolk and Norfolk. It rises here at Redgrave and Lopham Fen and flows in an easterly direction through the towns of Diss, Bungay and Beccles. There is a weir at Billingford, shortly after the River Dove, flowing northwards from Eye, joins the Waveney on the southern bank. The Waveney passes around Bungay and on to Beccles. Then, having skirted past Oulton Broad it passes through Somerleyton and Haddiscoe before merging with the Yare in Breydon Water before discharging into the North Sea having travelled about 59 miles. The "ey" part of the name means "river" thus the name is tautological.

All the photographs in this article were either taken on public land or footpaths wherever possible. Where access to private land was required, permission was always sought and granted before any photographs were taken. Please do not take photographs on private land without asking first. I am very grateful to all the landowners who allowed me access to their property to compile this record.

The source of the River Waveney is a ditch on the east side of the B.1113 Redgrave Road
TM0379 : The source of the River Waveney by Adrian S Pye TM0378 : Welcome to Suffolk at the source of the River Waveney by Adrian S Pye
close to the 82-foot (25 m) contour, and flows in an easterly direction across Redgrave Fen,
TM0379 : Path beside the young River Waveney by Adrian S Pye
and flowing through Bressingham Fen before encountering two railway bridges at Bressingham Steam Museum
TM0880 : Narrow gauge railway bridge over the River Waveney by Adrian S Pye TM0880 : Narrow gauge railway bridge over the River Waveney by Adrian S Pye TM0880 : River Waveney upstream at Bressingham Steam Museum by Adrian S Pye TM0880 : River Waveney downstream at Bressingham Steam Museum by Adrian S Pye
at Roydon Further Fen.

The first road encountered is Doit Road Bridge
TM0880 : Doit Bridge on Doit Lane by Adrian S Pye TM0880 : River Waveney upstream from Doit Bridge by Adrian S Pye TM0880 : River Waveney downstream from Doit Bridge by Adrian S Pye
between Wortham and Roydon, Norfolk.

On to Diss, where the river creates the southern boundary of the town and passes beneath the Denmark Bridge
TM1179 : Denmark Bridge over the River Waveney south of Diss by Adrian S Pye TM1179 : River Waveney upstream from Denmark Bridge by Adrian S Pye TM1179 : River Waveney downstream from Denmark Bridge by Adrian S Pye
which connects Palgrave with Diss in Norfolk.

Passing close to the converted Buttonís windmill
TM1279 : Converted windmill at Diss by Adrian S Pye
it then continues to the bridge at Lower Rose Lane,
TM1278 : Bridge over the River Waveney in Lower Rose Lane by Adrian S Pye TM1278 : The River Waveney is in there somewhere by Adrian S Pye TM1278 : River Waveney, downstream from Rose Lane Bridge by Adrian S Pye
and a few yards further on, a small un-named tributary joins the river from the south, at Stuston Bridge
TM1378 : Stuston Bridge spanning the River Waveney by Adrian S Pye TM1378 : Upstream from Stuston Bridge by Adrian S Pye TM1378 : River Waveney downstream from Stuston Bridge by Adrian S Pye
and is soon joined by Frenze Beck coming down from Winfarthing in Norfolk.

The Frenze Bridge is on the A.1066.
TM1379 : Frenze Bridge over Frenze Beck on the A1066 by Adrian S Pye TM1379 : Frenze Beck from Frenze Bridge by Adrian S Pye TM1379 : Frenze Beck downstream from Frenze Bridge by Adrian S Pye

Skirting north of the Stuston Common golf course, it then passes under the new dual carriageway of the A140 south of Scole,
TM1478 : A140 bridge over the River Waveney by Adrian S Pye TM1478 : River Waveney upstream from the A140 bridge by Adrian S Pye TM1478 : River Waveney downstream from the A140 bridge by Adrian S Pye
and then beneath the old Scole Bridge,
TM1478 : The Old Scole Bridge by Adrian S Pye TM1478 : River Waveney in reflective mood by Adrian S Pye TM1478 : River Waveney in reflective mood #2 by Adrian S Pye
and within just a few yards under the A143 road bridge
TM1478 : Looking downstream beneath the A143 bridge by Adrian S Pye TM1478 : Bridge over the Waveney on the A143 by Adrian S Pye
where it is almost concealed by numerous trees.

From there it meanders for a mile and a half across grazing marshes to Billingford Bridge
TM1678 : River Waveney upstream from Billingford Bridge by Adrian S Pye TM1678 : River Waveney upstream from Billingford Bridge by Adrian S Pye TM1678 : River Waveney downstream from Billingford Bridge by Adrian S Pye TM1678 : River Waveney at Billingford Bridge by Adrian S Pye TM1678 : Beneath Billingford Bridge by Adrian S Pye
and just within sight of Billingford windmill, near the main road.
TM1678 : Billingford mill by Adrian S Pye

After further meandering it is joined by the River Dove from Mellis
TM1777 : Red Bridge over the River Dove by Adrian S Pye TM1777 : River Dove at Red Bridge by Adrian S Pye TM1778 : River Dove at Red Bridge by Adrian S Pye
at "The Crotch"
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
+
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

just before Hoxne Mill,
TM1877 : Hoxne water mill by Adrian S Pye TM1877 : Hoxne water mill by Adrian S Pye TM1877 : Hoxne water mill by Adrian S Pye TM1877 : Sluice gate in the mill stream by Adrian S Pye
after which it turns north east and passing through more grazing marshes and taking the scenic route around Syleham church
TM2078 : Syleham St Margaretís church by Adrian S Pye
and more meandering before reaching the Syleham Bridges
TM2179 : Two arch bridge at Syleham former watermill by Adrian S Pye TM2179 : The mill pool at the former Syleham watermill by Adrian S Pye TM2179 : Relief channel bridge at Syleham by Adrian S Pye
where the great Syleham Mill once stood until it was completely destroyed by a fire in 1928. Only the dye works fronting Syleham Road could be saved which has since been converted into cottages.
TM2179 : The old dye works of Syleham Mill, converted by Adrian S Pye

From Syleham the river takes a northern route towards Weybread and passes under the small private bridge at Hill Farm
TM2179 : A sleeper bridge crosses the River Waveney by Adrian S Pye TM2179 : Upstream from the bridge at Brockdish by Adrian S Pye TM2179 : Downstream from the bridge at Brockdish by Adrian S Pye

Under the footbridge near Luckís Mill
TM2280 : Footbridge over the River Waveney at Needham by Adrian S Pye TM2280 : Upstream from the Needham footbridge by Adrian S Pye TM2280 : River Waveney downstream from Needham footbridge by Adrian S Pye
and passing the site of Luckís Mill of which only a bridge remains.
TM2280 : Lucksmill bridge by Adrian S Pye TM2280 : Lucksmill Bridge by Adrian S Pye TM2280 : Luck's Mill by Adrian S Pye

Then meeting a weir on the relief channel before Needham Mill.
TM2281 : Weir on the Waveney at Needham by Adrian S Pye TM2281 : Portage point on the River Waveney by Adrian S Pye

The former Needham mill actually stands on the Suffolk side and is in Weybread but calling it Needham made things a lot simpler. Needham Mill was built as a small 4 storey red brick building. The mill was rebuilt after the fire of 1838 and again about 1870 after a fire destroyed the earlier timber-framed weather-boarded building. Milling ceased around 1934 and the wheel and machinery were removed during the second world war and sold towards the war effort. It is now a private dwelling.
TM2281 : The former water mill at Needham by Adrian S Pye TM2281 : The former water mill at Needham by Adrian S Pye

Turning east again at Weybread, and where Weybread water mill used to stand.
TM2481 : Weybread water mill. wheel site and sluice by Adrian S Pye TM2481 : Bridge over the sluice at Weybread water mill site by Adrian S Pye TM2481 : The sluice at Weybread water mill site by Adrian S Pye
It was one of the largest and worked with a head of seven feet of water. Running with two waterwheels, one having a diameter of twenty feet and twelve feet wide, both wheels were cast iron with wooden floats and driving ten pairs of stones. The mill's life came to an abrupt end when it was burnt down on the evening of Friday 6th February 1920, leaving just the mill cottages standing.
TM2481 : Mill Cottages, Weybread by Adrian S Pye

Passing close to Wellsí Lane south of Harleston it passes the under Shotford Bridge
TM2482 : Shotford Bridge over the River Waveney by Adrian S Pye TM2482 : River Waveney upstream from Shotford Bridge by Adrian S Pye TM2482 : River Waveney downstream from Shotford Bridge by Adrian S Pye
on its way, winding back and forth across Mendham grazing marshes to Mendham Bridge
TM2682 : Mendham Bridge from the Suffolk side by Adrian S Pye TM2682 : River Waveney looking upstream at Mendham Bridge by Adrian S Pye TM2683 : River Waveney downstream from Mendham Bridge by Adrian S Pye TM2682 : Mendham All Saints from across the River Waveney by Adrian S Pye

Reaching the impressive Mendham Mill which was rebuilt and greatly enlarged in 1820 of weatherboard with a pantiled roof
TM2783 : Mendham former watermill on the River Waveney by Adrian S Pye TM2783 : Mendham former watermill on the River Waveney by Adrian S Pye TM2783 : Mendham former watermill on the River Waveney by Adrian S Pye TM2783 : The mill race at Mendham watermill by Adrian S Pye

Wortwell Mill was undergoing some restoration when I visited. Captain Cook Canoes can be hired in the Old Granary.
TM2884 : Wortwell water mill on the River Waveney by Adrian S Pye TM2884 : Wortwell water mill on the River Waveney by Adrian S Pye TM2884 : The mill race at Wortwell water mill by Adrian S Pye

Homersfield Mill dates back as far as the 1320s and repairs, alterations and rebuilds took place over time. However in 1927 the mill ceased to operate due to breach in the riverbank at the weir upstream. The mill and adjoining house were consequently demolished. Traces of the headrace, wheelrace and tailrace are still extant.
TM2885 : Tailrace and millpond Homersfield watermill (remains) by Adrian S Pye TM2885 : The head and wheelrace at Homersfield former watermill by Adrian S Pye TM2885 : The head and wheelrace at Homersfield former watermill by Adrian S Pye

On to Homersfield old bridge which is the oldest concrete bridge in Great Britain, having been built in 1870.
TM2885 : River Waveney passing beneath Homersfield Bridge by Adrian S Pye TM2885 : The old Homersfield bridge by Adrian S Pye

and within a few yards, Homersfield bypass bridge
TM2885 : Homersfield bridge over the River Waveney by Adrian S Pye TM2885 : River Waveney upstream from Homersfield roadbridge by Adrian S Pye TM2885 : River Waveney downstream from Homersfield roadbridge by Adrian S Pye
Continued >>>>>>>>

KML

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