Page:VCH Warwickshire 1.djvu/75

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BOTANY 4. THE AVON The Avon rises near Naseby in Northamptonshire and enters War- wickshire near Clifton. It has a meandering course a little north of Rugby, flowing past Lawford and Brandon, receiving on its left bank streams draining the surrounding country. Passing near Ryton-on-Duns- more and Bubbenhall, it flows through the grounds of Stoneleigh Abbey ; here it receives on its right bank the river Sow, and taking its course by Ashow, flows on through the romantic grounds of Guy's Cliff. Near here at Emscote it receives the important tributary the Learn, and pass- ing near the walls of Warwick Castle, flows through Warwick Park. From Warwick Park the Avon flows near Barford to Sherbourne, where it receives waters from Norton Lindsay and the country around ; flowing on near Hampton Lucy its stream is augmented by Thelesford Brook, a little stream from Wasperton Hill. The little river Dene, a stream originating from the drainage of Burton Dassett and Edge Hills, and bringing waters from the surrounding district, flows into it as it winds through the beautiful grounds of Charlecote. From Charlecote the Avon flows through Alveston and Stratford-on-Avon, and a little below Strat- ford on its left bank is joined by the river Stour ; thence flowing under Binton Bridges and by Bidford, it receives on its right bank the rapid- flowing Arrow, and a little below Salford Priors it leaves the county. Its course through the county is about forty-seven miles. The Avon is everywhere a beautiful soft-flowing stream, with rich alluvial banks clothed with a wealth of beautiful wild flowers, stately forests of bulrush, Scirpus lacustris ; and water meadow-grass, Glyceria aquatica ; the golden beauty of the yellow water-cress or the pearly blos- som of the bitter-cress, Cardamine amara ; and in its waters tangled masses of Ranunculus tricbopbyllus, and frequently the yellow water-lily, Nupbar lutea. 5. THE LEAM The river Learn rises on the northern slopes of Marston Hill and, forming the boundary line of Northampton and Warwickshire for some two or three miles, enters Warwickshire a little north of Wolfhamcote. As it flows in a north-westerly direction, soon after passing through Grandborough it meets on its right bank the waters of the Rainsbrook, a stream entering the county near Dunchurch. From this point the Learn turns west past Leamington Hastings and Birdingbury ; near Mar- ton receiving on its left bank the brook-like river, the Itchin, and on its right bank waters from Bourton, Thurlaston and the surrounding country. From Marton the Learn has a widely sinuous course through Wappen- bury and OfFchurch to Radford Semele, receiving on its way waters from Cubbington and Whitnash. Thence it flows westward through Leaming- ton to its confluence with the Avon near Emscote. The principal rocks of this basin are those of the Lias marls and clays, but about OfFchurch and Leamington Keuper marls predominate. The Itchen rises on the west 37