The River Chew, a modest waterway in Somerset, gracefully meanders for approximately 17 miles through the serene North Somerset countryside, eventually converging with the River Avon after forming the picturesque Chew Valley. The very source of the Chew emanates from a spring located just upstream from Chewton Mendip. Flowing in a northwest direction, the river traverses Chewton Mendip, Litton, Chew Valley Lake, Chew Stoke, Chew Magna, and Stanton Drew. Its course takes it beneath the A37 at Pensford, passing through the charming villages of Publow, Woollard, Compton Dando, and Chewton Keynsham before uniting with the River Avon at Keynsham.For a significant portion of its journey, the Chew is accompanied by the Two Rivers Way, which runs parallel to its banks and forms part of the historic Monarch's Way. The etymology of the name 'Chew' can be traced back to its Celtic roots, sharing linguistic connections with the River Chwefru and cliwyf-ffrenwy, signifying 'the moving, gushing water.' Ancient variations include Estoca (Chew Stoke), Chiu (Chew Magna), and Ciwetune (Chewton Mendip). While the precise interpretation of its meaning allows for several plausible explanations, one possibility suggests "winding water," with "ew" being a variant of the French word for "water," which is "eau." Additionally, the regional dialect employs the term "chewer" to denote a narrow passage, while the Old English word "chare" signifies a turning Notably, fish ladders have been thoughtfully installed at three weirs in Keynsham and Chewton Keynsham, facilitating the movement of fish upstream. The Millground and Chewton sections of the river, encompassing the six left-bank fields (when viewed downstream) stretching from Chewton Place in Chewton Keynsham to the Albert Mill in Keynsham, are subject to fishing rights owned by the esteemed Keynsham Angling Club. Within these waters, an array of fish species find their home, including chub, roach, European perch, rudd, gudgeon, dace, grayling, trout, and eel.T his camera was installed and is maintained by the Environment Agency and can be viewed here
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Compton Dando is listed in the 1086 Domesday Book as Comtuna. A compton was originally a 'valley enclosure'. In 1297 the name Dando was added after Godfrey or Geofrey de Anno.