Woodford Northamptonshire

River Nene

One of the main sources of the River Nene is in the west of the County of Northamptonshire at Arbury Hill near Badby although there are two other well known sources, near Naseby and Yelvertoft. Suggestions also exist that there could be as many as nine sources and that the name is a corruption of the River Nine. The River is nominally listed as being 100 miles (161 km) long, and in order to retain sufficient water to remain navigable the flow is controlled by 39 locks between Northampton and Peterborough. The final 25 or so miles beyond Peterborough are tidal.

Parts of the river upstream of Peterborough (as far as Thrapston) were first made navigable by 1737 following a series of Acts of Parliament permitting the construction of locks to retain water yet bypass the many water mils. It was over twenty years later that a contract for the section between Thrapston and Northampton was awarded in 1758, however the work was completed with great celebrations in Northampton in 1761.

Regular meeting so fhte commisioners of the river were held and much money was tied up in the river. The Northampton Mercury advertises the following metting in the edition dated 28 September 1778.

Notice is hereby given that the next meeting of the Commissioners acting for the western division of the navigation of the River Nine, or Nen will be held at the Town Hall in Northampton onThursday next, 1st day October at 10 o'clock in the forenoon, at which time subscribers may receive their interest due at Michaelmas. Signed M Lucas - Clerk 26 September 1778. Balance £323 0s 4d 1f.

The river was linked to the Grand Union Canal and the national canal network in 1815. This five mile link drops 107 feet (33 metres) through 17 locks.

The average flow on the river is 9.3cubic metres (320 cubic feet) per second, and the catchment area is 631 square miles (1630 square km).

Lock 1 is at Northampton and Lock 39 is the tidal sluice at the Dog in a Doublet. The lock chambers are generally 26 metres long and 4.6 metres wide. Lower Ringstead is lock 19 and Woodford is lock 20 which has an interlock distance of 2.4miles (10th longest).

The River is maintained by the Environment Agency

Just downstream of Lower Ringstead lock (in Woodford Parish) is the Woodford Mill Tea rooms. Known locally as the Willy Watt Mill or Ringstead Mill (being the closest village) this is the only building in the parish actually adjacent to the river and also has road access.

The Mill and Mill House at Woodford lock (downstream from Woodford) believed to have been built in the 1700s was demolished in 1964.