Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for MEDWAY (THE)

MEDWAY (THE), a river, partly of Surrey and Sussex, but chiefly of Kent. It was known to the ancient Britons as Vaga, to the Romans as Madus, and to the Saxons as Medewaege. It draws two head-streams from Sussex, and one from Surrey; runs, from the confluence of these, north-eastward, past Penshurst, to Tunbridge; goes thence, east-north-eastward, to Yalding; proceeds thence windingly, north-eastward, past Wateringbury and Barming, to Maidstone; goes thence, chiefly northward, but with bends and windings, past Aylesford, Snodland, and Wouldham, to Rochester; begins, a little above that city, to be some what estuarial; proceeds, with increasing estuarial expansion, and with offshoots and branchings, chiefly east-north-eastward, past Chatham, Gillingham, Hoo, and an expanse of marshes, to the Thames at Sheerness; and embraces, in the reach between Chatham and Sheerness, a number of islands and small peninsulas. It is joined, at Penshurst, by the Eden; at Tunbridge, by the Tun; at Yalding, by the Built; at Maidstone, by the Len; and at Queenborough, 2 miles above Sheerness, by the Swale. It was made navigable to Tunbridge about the middle of last century; it is much used for navigation up to Maidstone; it has a tidal rise of 20 feet at Rochester; it varies in width from less than a mile to upwards of 2 miles between Gillingham and Sheerness; it abounds with fish of varions kinds, and was formerly noted for salmon and sturgeon; it includes, in its lower creeks, an oyster fishery; and it figures in varions events of warlike history, connected with the chief towns upon its banks.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a river"   (ADL Feature Type: "rivers")
Administrative units: Kent AncC       Surrey AncC       Sussex AncC
Place names: MADUS     |     MEDEWAEGE     |     MEDWAY     |     MEDWAY THE     |     THE MEDWAY     |     VAGA
Place: Medway

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