River Weaver

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The River Weaver
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The River Weaver

The River Weaver is a watercourse running a curving route anti-clockwise across west Cheshire, England. From its source in the hills of west Cheshire near Peckforton Castle, it initially flows in a south-easterly direction towards the border with Shropshire, fed by tributaries some of which rise in north Shropshire. Just south of the Cheshire village of Audlem, the river then starts to flow approximately northwards across the Cheshire Plain, and today empties into the Manchester Ship Canal at Weston Point Docks, Runcorn (it previously flowed into the River Mersey).

From the Peckforton Hills, the Weaver flows through the village of Wrenbury, and then passes to the west of Audlem. The first significant town on the river is the small market town of Nantwich. Further north, it passes through Winsford. The 21-mile-long stretch north from Winsford Bridge is navigable (Acts of Parliament dating back to 1721 were introduced to allow the river to be 'canalised' to carry freight, including salt and chemicals). This Weaver Navigation stretch includes the town of Northwich.

Perhaps its most notable feature is the Anderton Boat Lift (1875), near Northwich, which links the Weaver with the Trent and Mersey Canal some 50ft above.

From Northwich, the Weaver flows north-west across north Cheshire, passing between Frodsham and Sutton Weaver before reaching the Manchester Ship Canal. Between 1807 and 1810, a short section of canal, the Weston Canal, was constructed in parallel to, and fed by, the Weaver, leading from Frodsham to Weston Point Docks.

Rowing is popular on the River Weaver, with competitive clubs based in Runcorn, Northwich, and Acton Bridge (The Grange School).

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