River Derwent, Cumberland

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The Derwent at Grange Bridge

The Derwent is a river in Cumberland, which flows across some of the most celebrated landscape in the county before discharging its waters into the Irish Sea at Workington.

The name 'Derwent' is frequent in Britain, and is derived from an Old Welsh word for "oak", which in Modern Welsh is derw.


The river rises at Styhead Tarn underneath Scafell Pike and flows in a northerly direction through the valley of Borrowdale, before continuing through Derwentwater, giving the lake its name.

The Derwent then continues into Bassenthwaite Lake, picking up the waters of the River Greta just outside Keswick.

Beyond Bassenthwaite Lake the river flows westwards through the Isel Valley, and on to Cockermouth, where it receives the waters of the River Cocker

The swollen Derwent the flows through Cockermouth heading west. Below the town it passes by Papcastle where a Roman fort bears the name of the river, showing the ancientness of the name.

The river enters the Irish Sea at Workington.


The Derwent is mentioned in the first book of William Wordsworth's The Prelude.[1]