River Wey

The River Wey is a tributary of the River Thames in south east England. Its two branches, one of which rises near Alton in Hampshire and the other in West Sussex to the south of Haslemere,[n 1] join at Tilford in Surrey. Once combined the flow is eastwards then northwards via Godalming and Guildford to meet the Thames at Weybridge. Downstream the river forms the backdrop to Newark Priory and Brooklands. The Wey and Godalming Navigations were built in the 17th and 18th centuries, to create a navigable route from Godalming to the Thames.

River Wey
Elstead Bridge, originally built by the monks of Waverley Abbey
Map of the River Wey (dark blue),
also showing part of the River Thames (light blue) and canal sections of the Wey and Godalming Navigations (green).
Location
CountryEngland
Counties
Districts / BoroughsChichester (district), East Hampshire (district), Waverley, Guildford, Woking, Elmbridge, Runnymede
TownsAlton, Haslemere, Farnham, Godalming, Guildford, Weybridge
Physical characteristics
Sourcespring
  locationAlton, East Hampshire, Hampshire
  coordinates51.145°N 0.995°W / 51.145; -0.995
  elevation109 metres (358 ft)
2nd sourcepond
  locationBlack Down, West Sussex, Chichester, West Sussex
  coordinates51.059°N 0.700°W / 51.059; -0.700
  elevation199 metres (653 ft)
Source confluence 
  locationTilford, Waverley, Surrey
  coordinates51.184°N 0.752°W / 51.184; -0.752
  elevation51 metres (167 ft)
MouthRiver Thames
  location
Weybridge, Elmbridge, Surrey
  coordinates
51.380°N 0.456°W / 51.380; -0.456
  elevation
12 metres (39 ft)
Length140 km (87 mi)
Basin size904 km2 (349 sq mi)
Discharge 
  locationWeybridge (mouths)
  average6.76 m3/s (239 cu ft/s)
  minimum1.30 m3/s (46 cu ft/s) 12 August 1990
  maximum74.8 m3/s (2,640 cu ft/s) 29 December 1979
Discharge 
  locationFarnham (north/western branch)
  average0.73 m3/s (26 cu ft/s)
Discharge 
  locationTilford (confluence of both branches)
  average3.25 m3/s (115 cu ft/s)
Discharge 
  locationGuildford
  average5.17 m3/s (183 cu ft/s)
Basin features
ProgressionWey (north branch), Wey, Thames
Wey (south branch), Wey, Thames
River systemThames Basin
Tributaries 
  leftNadder Stream, Bentworth Stream, Oakhanger Stream, Kingsley Stream, Oxney Stream, Hell Ditch, Hoe Stream, Hollywater, Deadwater, River Slea
  rightRiver Tillingbourne, Cranleigh Waters, River Ock, East Clandon Stream, Guileshill Brook, Royal Brook, Stratford Brook, Truxford Brook

The Wey drains much of south west Surrey (as well as parts of east Hampshire and the north of West Sussex) and has a total catchment area of 904 square kilometres (350 sq mi).[1] Although it is the longest tributary of the Thames (if the Medway is excluded), its total average discharge is lower than that of the Kennet and Cherwell. The river morphology and biodiversity of the Wey are well studied, with many places to take samples and record data. The main tributary is the Tillingbourne, which rises on the western slopes of Leith Hill and flows westwards to join the Wey to the south of Guildford, between Shalford and Peasmarsh.

The name Wey is of unknown origin and meaning.[2]


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