Aspects of Exmoor

Rivers and Streams

Page 1

The purple-headed mountains,
The river running by,
The sunset and the morning
That brightens up the sky...
(All Things Bright and Beautiful)
C.F. Alexander

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Photographs © Geoff Bannister

There are many waterways on Exmoor, ranging in importance from tiny, unnamed streams to the headwaters of what
will become main rivers. Most flow northwards towards the Bristol Channel but two important rivers, the Exe and the
Barle have their sources on The Chains near Simonsbath and flow southwards, ultimately joining south of Dulverton.
This gallery covers three areas in detail where I have sufficient pictures while some others are given just a nod.
Hopefully, I shall cover some of these rivers and streams more fully in due course

The Barle

The Barle rises at Pinkworthy Pond, created by the Knight family in the 19th century on the remote area of The Chains,
north-west of Simonsbath. South of this village, it flows through beautiful moorland scenery past the old Wheal Eliza
mine workings and Landacre Bridge to Withypool. Beyond here, it becomes a narrower heavily wooded
valley as it approaches Dulverton and shortly afterwards, joins with the Exe just north of Exebridge.

Pinkworthy Pond

Pinkworthy Pond in spring

Pinkworthy Pond, The Chains

Cornham Ford

The Barle Valley in February

Winter along the Barle

Wheal Eliza Bridge

Wheal Eliza Bridge

Barle Valley South of Simonsbath

Cow Castle, Barle valley

Barle Valley looking north

Cow Castle and the "Calf"

Cow Castle from Pickedstones

Bridge, Horsen Ford

Landacre Bridge


Tarr Steps
Horner Water and its tributaries

The main tributary of Horner Water is Chetsford Water which rises on the moor, north-west of Dunkery. It flows down
to feed Nutscale Reservoir where it becomes Nutscale Water and at Pool Bridge, finally becomes Horner Water all
the way to empty into the Bristol Channel under the shingle of Bossington Beach. On its way, it gathers the water of
two other streams, East Water in the valley below Webbers Post and Aller Water at Lynch.

Chetsford Water

Nutscale Reservoir

Last bridge, East Water

The last bridge alternate view*

Priestway bridge and ford, East Water

Junction of Horner Water & East Water

Packhorse bridge, West Luccombe

West Luccombe road bridge

Allerford Packhorse Bridge

Allerford packhorse bridge

Allerford packhorse bridge

North Bridge, Bossington

Journey's end, Bossington

Horner Water usually enters the Bristol Channel by flowing underneath the shingle ridge at Bossington Beach. However, at intervals -
usually when there is a heavy flow downstream after heavy rain on the moor - the ridge above the outflow collapses. The river then
flows out through a narrow channel but after a few days, the action of river and tides remarkably builds up the ridge again. Such a
collapse occurred on 30th April 2012 and the gap created was one of the widest recorded for many years.
Here are some views of the breach taken a day or so after the event.

Photographs © Geoff Bannister
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