What first impressions of the course of the River Lyn can be drawn from the archive of photographs held by the Somerset Rivers website?

The Somerset Rivers website at holds an immense amount of detail about 95 Somerset Rivers.  The course of each river from source to mouth has been recorded in photographs.  For geographers undertaking research on rivers such as the Lyn this database of secondary information is invaluable and allows the researcher to gain an initial impression as to whether the River Lyn might fit the Bradshaw model or not.  However, when undertaking the exercise below, don’t forget to evaluate and critique the data you are using i.e. the photographs that you are interrogating.  This data has not been collected by you so consider as you go along its advantages and possible limitations.  For example, on a positive note it provides you with comprehensive data of the entire river that you could never have been able to collect yourself – this database of images is the culmination of years of work on behalf of the compiler.  However, whilst they might be a wonderful pictorial record of the river the person taking the photographs might not have been a geographer and therefore perhaps preferred very scenic shots to those providing important information about how the physical characteristics of the river were changing.


Consolidate your thinking 

The satellite image below shows some of the Lyn River system. The course of Farley Water, a major tributary of the River Lyn, which flows from its source (at Grid Reference 764423 on the Ordnance Survey map extract  for 6.2 km before its confluence with Hoaroak Water (a larger tributary of the River Lyn) at Hillsford Bridge at Grid Reference 741477.  From this point Hoaroak Water flows for another 1 km before joining the East Lyn River at Watersmeet at Grid Reference 744487.  From here the East Lyn River has 3 km to flow before combining with the West Lyn River just 0.6 km from the mouth of the Lyn at the Bristol Channel, Grid Reference 724495.  From source to mouth a combined distance of 10.8 km.


Your task here is to look carefully at a sequence of 230 images of the River Lyn from the source of Farley Water at 764423 to its mouth at 724495 to gain a first impression from what you can observe as to whether there appears to be evidence of the river matching the assumptions of the Bradshaw Model or not.   To do this you will need a copy of the table in Resource 2.2 to make a few notes as you go along.  This provides you with a table summarising the main expectations of the Bradshaw Model and with space alongside each assumption for you to make a note of your general impression together with examples of evidence from the photographs to support what you feel. 

View the photographs in the following order:

River Farley Water from source to confluence with Hoar Oak Water

Go to the image gallery at 

and create a slide show of each set by clicking on the magnifying glass on the first photograph and then by using the right cursor.  Look through the sets of photographs in this sequence:

  • Source to County Boundary
  • County Boundary to Clannon Ball
  • Clannon Ball to Farley Hill
  • Farley Hill to Hoar Oak Water

 Now move on to the image gallery for Hoar Oak Water at and view the sets of images in the Hillsford Bridge to Watersmeet and finally to the photographs of the East Lyn River between Watersmeet to Lynmouth and finally at Lynmouth at


Now go to investigation 4 - How does the long profile of the River Lyn compare with the Bradshaw Model