Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The River Wandle is a river in England about 14 km long. Rain falls on the North Downs, filters through the chalk and emerges on the spring line at the Wandle's two sources, both at about 35 m above sea / Thames level. These are: a pond in Wandle Park beside Mill Lane, Croydon and Carshalton Ponds. It joins the River Thames at Wandsworth after passing through the London Boroughs of Croydon, Sutton, Merton, and Wandsworth. The names of the river and of Wandsworth are thought to have derived from the Saxon "Wendlesworth" meaning "Wendle's Settlement".
A tributary starts in Thornton Heath as the Norbury Brook, becomes the River Graveney and joins the Wandle near Summerstown. For part of its length it forms the boundary between the London Boroughs of Croydon and Lambeth.
'Village' names in the Wandle basin include: Croydon, Waddon, Beddington, Wallington, Carshalton, Hackbridge , Mitcham, Ravensbury , St Helier, Morden, Wimbledon, Colliers Wood, Summerstown , and Wandsworth.
The river has been in use since Roman times and was heavily industrialised in the 17th and 18th century (the industrial revolution) at one point being one of the most polluted rivers of the period. The main industries of the period were tobacco and textiles. Subsequent cleanups have lead to a dramatic improvement in water quality leading to a return of the river's once famous brown trout.
The river is heavily managed with artificial channels, runoff ditches and subterranean stretches.
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