The River Wye
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The River Wye from south of Monmouth to its mouth

South of Monmouth to the end of the River Wye where it enters the River Severn. This stretch is considered the most beautiful of the whole of the River Wye.

View Places along the River Wye in a larger map
 

Redbrook

With a population of 372 Redbrook is now a quiet village, surrounded by woods, south of Monmouth.

Historically, Redrook was an industrial centre. It has been home to mills, an ironworks, a copper works and a world famous tin plate works that only closed in 1962.

The stream that flows down to the Wye through the northern side of the village passes through several dammed ponds that managed water for waterwheels. These provided power for industrial processes. On the same side of the bridge are the remains of an incline where, before the railway arrived, coal was conveyed to the village.

At one time Redbrook boasted thirteen pubs and three breweries. The last brewery closed in 1926.

When the Wye Valley Railway was built, Redbrook was the last stop before Monmouth. This was just a few yards frpm the revious stop, Penallt Halt – however the river separated the villages of Redbrook and Penallt.

Today the railway viaduct is the most notable landmark in Redbrook. Instead of trains it carries a footway across the River Wye.

 

The Wye Valley Railway
              
Connecting Chepstow with Monmouth, the Wye Valley Railway opened on 1 November 1876.

It was 24 km (15 miles) long.

Because the enterprise was not successful, the line was amalgamated into Great Western Railways in 1905. In 1947 it became part of British Rail.

The Wye Valley Railway succumbed to Beeching’s Axe. It closed to passenger traffic in 1959 then to goods in 1964, when much of the rail was taken up.

 

Bigsweir Bridge

Bigsweir bridge was built across the River Wye in 1827, as part of a new turnpike road connecting Chepstow with Monmouth. The derelict toll house lies at the Western (Welsh) side of the bridge. Bigsweir bridge is notable for its single span iron arch. This is nearly 50 metres long and was cast in Merthyr Tydfil. Bigsweir Bridge is a Grade II listed structure.

Bigsweir Bridge marks the Normal Tidal Limit of the River Wye. This is the lowest point on the river that is unaffected by tidal flow. In other words below this point the height of the River Wye can be effected by high and low tides. Below Bigsweir Bridge the River Wye is under the jurisdiction of Gloucester Harbour Trustees, who also look after the tidal River Severn.

 

Llandogo

The village of Llandogo (Welsh name Llaneuddogwy) takes its name from St. Oudoceus, or Euddogwy, a local Bishop who lived in the sixth or seventh century.

Llandogo was a port before Chepstow. It became famous for boatyards where trows were built.  Trows were flat bottomed boats that traded freight on the River Wye, as well as the Severn and Bristol Channel. They went as far afield as Italy. Trows traded up until the 19th Century.

The tower of the church at Llandogo now houses the bell from the ‘William and Sarah’ – one of the last barges to work on the River Wye.

Above Llandogo in the hamlet of Cleddon where the polymath Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was born.

 

Brockweir

There has been a village at Brockweir since the thirteenth century. The village marks the point on the River Wye where, at high tide, seagoing vessels of up to 90 tonnes could moor. Hence this was a transhipment point, where goods were transferred between seagoing ships and barges that could take commodities to and from as far upstream as Hereford. An ancient quay survives at Brockweir.

Brockweir became a centre for shipbuilding, fitting and repair. With a transitory population serviced by 16 pubs by the early nineteenth century it had a reputation for lawlessness. Churches descended on the village to change its character.

In 1914 the last ship was built at Brockweir - the Belle Marie.

The cast iron road bridge was built in 1906, replacing crossing by ferry. This is nicknamed ‘The Ugly Bridge’.

 

Tintern

The Tintern area is described on a seperate page.

Covered are:

  • Tintern Old Station
  • Tintern Village
  • The Wireworks Bridge
  • The Devil's Pulpit
  • Tintern Abbey
  • The Angiddy Stream
  • Angiddy Iron Works
  Tintern area is described on a separate page

 

The Eagle’s Nest

In Wyndcliff Wood, high above the River Wye a viewpoint called The Eagle’s Nest was built. This has stunning views over the Wye, the Severn, and on clear days seven counties can be seen, including the Cotswold Hills.

When opened the Eagles Nest was reached by 365 steps up through the woods – but today these have been commuted to 300. The viewpoint can also be accessed by a more leisurely woodland path from a nearby car park.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 – 1834) visited The Eagle’s Nest and wrote of it: “Oh what a godly scene....The whole world seemed imaged in its vast circumference".

In recent years The Eagle’s Nest viewpoint has been restored.

 

Lancaut Peninsula

The Eagles Nest looks down on the Lancaut Peninsula – an area of land looped by the River Wye. The peninsula contains farmland and two wooded nature reserves managed by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.

The ruin of St James’ Church is Norman, dating back to the twelfth century. Nearby are remains of a medieval village and lime kilns.

 

Wintour’s Leap

Limestone Cliffs towering above the River Wye near the village of Woodcroft are called Wintour’s Leap. They are named after a local legend dating from the Civil War. It is said that in 1642 Colonel John Wintour – a local industrialist and Royalist – was on horseback being pursued by Parliamentary forces. He rode his horse over the cliffs, plunging into the River Wye below. However Wintour was unhurt and swam downstream to nearby Chepstow Castle.

The limestone cliffs at Wintours Leap are very popular with climbers. They offer pitches for all levels of expertise, with climbs of up to 100 metres.

 

Tutshill Tower

Tutshill Tower is the remains of a structure above the River Wye in the suburb of Tutshill. ‘Tut’ is a local name for watchtower. Tutshill Tower is of unknown date. Instead of a watchtower it has been thought to have been a beacon or lighthouse. It may have dated from Norman times and be associated with nearby Chepstow Castle. Another theory is that it is the remains of a windmill, dating from a later period.

Tutshill Tower is on private land but can be clearly viewed from a nearby footpath.

 

Offa’s Dyke
Welsh name Clawdd Offa, Offa’s Dyle was a fortification, consisting of ditch and rampart (or bank) that ran roughly along the English/Welsh Border. One end is at Sedbury, on the outskirts of Chepstow, and the other was presumably the North Wales Coast. However no trace of Offa’s Dyke can be found today north of Wrexham.

Offa was King of Mercia from AD 757 to 796. Mercia was a kingdom bounded by the rivers Trent and Mersey in the North, the Fens in the East and the Thames Valley in the South. It was the western edge of Mercia that was marked by Offa’s Dyke.

The Dyke may have been a defensive structure, a political statement of power or an administrative boundry. Originally it would have been about 27 metres (89 feet) wide and eight metres (26 feet) from the bottom of the ditch to the top of the rampart.


 

Offa’s Dyke Path

Opened in the summer of 1970, Offa’s Dyke Path is a long distance footpath that roughly follows Offa’s Dyke. It starts at Sedbury – at the dyke, and never strays too far from the English Welsh border, ending at Prestatyn. The path is 285 Km (177) miles long.

Offa’s Dyke path starts by following the River Wye from Chepstow to Monmouth. It then crosses the Wye for the final time at Hay on Wye.


 

Chepstow

 The first (or last town) in Wales is described on a seperate page.

 

Mouth of the Wye

Just South of Chepstow, at Beachley Point, the river Wye flows into the River Severn, soon to be come the Severn Estuary and then the Bristol Channel.


 

The two Severn Crossings

At the very mouth of the Wye, the river crosses under the Wye Bridge. Although the largest bridge over the river, it is often overlooked by crossing traffic, as it forms part of the Severn Bridge. This bridge was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 8 September 1966. It carries the M48 between England and Wales.

On 5 June 1996 the Second Severn Crossing was opened by Prince Charles. This is further downstream from the Severn Bridge and carries the M4.


 

 

A Year on the Wye DVD

A Year on the Wye DVD cover

 Free:

  River Wye screensaver

  River Wye 2011 calendar

The River Wye south of RedbrookThe River Wye south of Redbrook
Autumn morning, south of Redbrook © Star Video 2011

  Links:

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content of external web sites.

Incline at RedbrookIncline at Redbrook
Where the Redbrook incline crossed the road © Star Video 2011
Viaduct over the River Wye at RedbrookViaduct over the River Wye at Redbrook
The Wye Valley Railway viaduct at Redbrook © Star Video 2011


 

The River Wye at Bigsweir BridgeThe River Wye at Bigsweir Bridge
Bigsweir bridge © Star Video 2011


 

 

Llandogo village on the River WyeLlandogo village on the River Wye
The church at Llandogo © Star Video 2011

 

 

Quay on the River Wye at BrockweirQuay on the River Wye at Brockweir
Remains of the ancient quay at Brockweir © Star Video 2011

 

 

The Ugly Bridge on the River Wye at BrockweirThe Ugly Bridge on the River Wye at Brockweir
The 'Ugly Bridge' at Brockweir © Star Video 2011

 

 

 

 

The River Wye loops the Lancaut PeninsulaThe River Wye loops the Lancaut Peninsula
Lancaut Peninsula from the Eagle's Nest viewpoint © Star Video 2011

 

 

 

 

 

Wintours Leap above the River WyeWintours Leap above the River Wye
The likestone cliffs of Wintour's Leap © Star Video 2011

 

 

Tutshill TowerTutshill Tower
Tutshill Tower - ancient watch tower? © Star Video 2011

 

 

Offa's DykeOffa's Dyke
Offa's Dyke at Sedbury © Star Video 2011

 

 

Offa's Dyke SignOffa's Dyke Sign
Offa's Dyke Path sign © Star Video 2011

 

 

The end of the River Wye, and the Wye BridgeThe end of the River Wye, and the Wye Bridge
Sunset at the mouth of the Wye (and Wye Bridge) © Star Video 2011

 

 

The Severn BridgeThe Severn Bridge
OThe 1966 Severn Bridge © Star Video 2011

 

© 2011 Star Video