From Source to Sea
- Elizabeth Reeve
15th February 2015
The River Don in South Yorkshire flows through a changing landscape. Along with the River Rother and the River Dearne, it forms a river system with a catchment of around 700 square miles and a population of over 1.5 million. The upper reaches of the river are defined by dams which provide a public water supply. The middle section contains a number of weirs to supply mills, foundries and cutlers’ wheels. The lower section contains weirs and locks to maintain the water levels for navigation.
Over the course of time, the Don has suffered some very notable floods. In 1536, the forces of the Pilgrimage of Grace were prevented from crossing the river at Doncaster due to flooding, and they subsequently had to enter into negotiations with the King’s forces. In 1864, the Great Sheffield Flood destroyed 800 houses and damaged a number of bridges upstream, killing 270 people. A river with a turbulent past, the River Don has much to offer both residents and visitors, including pubs, walking routes, wildlife, sites of historical interest and the flora. The river is a delight for anybody embarking on its exploration.