River Stort

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The Stort at Bishop's Stortford

River Stort is a river in Essex and Hertfordshire, forming the county boundary discontinuously in its upper waters and for several miles in its lower reaches. It is a tributary of the River Lea, which it joins at Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire, at Feildes Weir.

The Stort takes its name as a backformation from the town of Bishop's Stortford in Hertfordshire, through which it flows. It was given the name in the 16th century.[1]


The Stort rises in springs near Langley, by the High Wood, Essex's highest point, in the Langley Hills. Its early stream flows southeast through Essex down to Stickling Green and Clavering and south to meet the county border with Hertfordshire outside Stanstead Mountfitchet, forming the border for about a mile.

The Stort flows through Bishop's Stortford, where both banks are in Hertfordshire, and below the town it has been canalised into the Stort Navigation, which it remains for another 13¼ miles.

Below Bishop's Stortford, the Stort forms the county border, except where diverted, all the way to the Lea at Hoddesdon, on the way flowing past Sawbridgeworth (Hertfordshire) and Harlow (Essex), which New Town looms over the south bank of the river for some miles.

At to Feildes Weir near Hoddesdon, the River Stort discharges its waters into the River Lea.

Outside links


  1. History of the River Stort Bishop's Stortford & Thorley History and Guide
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about River Stort)