Rivers, Becks and Gills

Cumbria is a county of variety with the Lake District covering 1/3 of its area. Mountains, high fells, and steep sided valleys contribute to the formation of fast flowing rivers, becks, and waterfalls. The 90-mile long River Eden, which flows north, is Cumbria's only “home-grown” river. It's a perfect example of the landscape's influence-in this case 2198 ft above sea level on moorland-providing a source to collect water that grows from a beck into a substantial river.

Aira Beck Angletarn Beck
Appletreeworth Beck Ardale Beck
Barrow Beck Barrow Gill
Beck Head Bleng River
Borrow Beck Brathay River
Broadslack Gill Caldbeck Beck
Calder River Caldew River
Carlin Gill Carrock Beck
Cawdale Beck Charleton Gill
Church Beck Cocker River
Coombe Gill Countess Beck Wasdale
Crake River Crookdale Beck
Crosby Gill Crowdundle Beck
Dale Beck Derwent River
Dob Gill Dovedale Beck
Duddon River Dungeon Ghyll
Eamont River Easedale Beck
Eden River Esk River
Far Tongue Gill Frozenfell Gill
Gasgale Gill Gatesgarth Beck
Gatherstone Beck Goldrill Beck
Grains Gill Grasmere Greenhead Gill
Great Langdale Beck Green Moor Beck
Greenburn Beck at Gyhll Foot Greta River
Groove Beck Hagg Gill
High Cup Gill Holegill Beck
Holme Beck Hopgill Beck
Kent River Kendal Langstrath River
Leverswater Beck Lingcove Beck
Lingmell Beck Lingmell Gill
Liza River Loft Beck
Lune River Mardale Beck
Mill Beck Mill Gill
Mosedale Beck Nannycatch Beck
Newlands Beck Oxendale Beck
Park Beck Piers Gill
Rake Beck Redacre Ghyll
Rigg Beck River Bela
River Mite Rossett Gill
Rothay River Rowantree Beck
Rowantreethwaite Beck Sandwick Beck
Scandale Beck at Rydal hall Scrow Beck
Short Grain Stream Smithy Beck
Southerndale Beck St. Johns Beck
Stanah Gill Stockghyll
Stonycroft Gill Strands Beck
Styhead Gill Swindale Valley River
Tilberthwaite Ghyll Torver Beck
Whelpo Beck Whillans Beck (Boot Bridge)
Whitecombe Beck

Cumbria's becks received their name from the Vikings who invaded and settled in the area. A beck, in old Norse, is a brook or stream with a stony bed. A gill (sometimes spelled ghyll) is also an old Norse name for a swift mountain torrent or deep mountain ravine, but is in common use today to name any mountain stream.

Many rivers and becks played their part in Cumbria's small scale industrial development by serving as power for local mills that ground wheat and corn or manufactured cotton, linen, wool, and bobbins.

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