Friday, 30 March 2012

Ancient rivers, modern pipes


SO how many rivers are there in Norwich? The Wensum of course and the Yare too. Those in the know might add the Tud at Costessey and the Tas near Lakenham. But how about the Dalymond and the Dallingfleet, the Great and the Little Cockey and the Muspole? These too were once well-known names to Norwich citizens. To a greater or lesser extent they still exist today. But hidden beneath concrete and contained within culverts they are Norwich’s secret rivers. Archaeologist Brian Ayers is the expert. Most of what I’ve written here relies on his book “Norwich: Archaeology of a Fine City”.

The Muspole ran into the north bank of the Wensum from small pool of the same name near the modern Muspole Street. Water from the Great Cockey still emerges from a pipe (main picture above, canoe-view of course) near the Art College having flowed through the city centre from the high ground near All Saints Green. The Little Cockey ran from Chapelfield down to the river at Westwick Street.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADownstream, the Dalymond rose in Old Catton and entered the Wensum off Fishergate at Hansard Lane. Again its outfall into the Wensum can only be seen by canoe (left). Lastly the Dallingfleet ran into the Wensum between the grounds of the cathedral and Foundry Bridge.

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