River Arun

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River Arun
formerly: Tarrant
The Stopham Bridge over the Arun

The Stopham Bridge over the Arun

location West Sussex , England
River system River Arun
River basin district South east
origin Confluence of several spring streams ( gills ) in St. Leonhard's Forest in the eastern part of the Horsham District
51 ° 3 ′ 3 ″  N , 0 ° 17 ′ 1 ″  W
muzzle at Littlehampton in the English Channel Coordinates: 50 ° 48 ′ 3 ″  N , 0 ° 32 ′ 31 ″  W 50 ° 48 ′ 3 ″  N , 0 ° 32 ′ 31 ″  W

length 41 km
Medium-sized cities Horsham , Littlehampton
Small towns Arundel
Communities Pulborough

The Arun is a river in West Sussex , England , after which the Arun district is named. It starts in St. Leonhard's Forest in the eastern part of the Horsham district , where it is formed from numerous small tributaries, locally known as gills (literally "gills"), and flows past the famous Arundel Castle before it continues a total of 41 kilometers at Littlehampton flows into the English Channel . The Arun is dependent on the tides up to about 30 kilometers inland .

Historical changes

Before it was renamed Arun , the river was known as the Tarrant for a long time . The renaming was done in return to the traditional name, which is also reflected in the names of the castle and the municipality of Arundel ( Arun + del: "Arun" + "River").

The traditional course of the river also changed. Until the 15th century the Arun flowed into the River Adur at Lancing . Due to changes in the tidal currents, however , the estuary was closed by gravel and the course of the river shifted eastwards and formed successively estuaries at Worthing , Goring and Ferring , before today's river bed was formed.


Until the end of the 19th century, the Arun was navigable for large ships as far as Arundel. The proximity to the coast and the great dependence on the tides allowed the seafarers to sail far inland with the help of the tides and sea winds. Shipping further upstream is not possible, as some parts of the upper reaches fall almost dry, especially in summer due to the irregular water supply.


The River Rother near the ruins of Cowdray House

The western River Rother , formerly called Scir (not to be confused with the River Rother in East Sussex ), is the largest and most important tributary of the Arun. It rises in Hampshire and is fed by numerous small tributaries from the South Downs , rather it flows into the Arun near Stopham . Due to the constant flow of water, there are many water mills on the upper reaches of the Rother .

Currently, the appearance of the banks of the Rother is changing a lot, as the glandular balsam is spreading massively and the previous biodiversity is severely threatened.

Origin of name

The name Rother is derived from the place Rotherbridge ; its name goes back to the Anglo-Saxon Redrebruge , which means something like cattle bridge or cattle community.

Web links

Commons : River Arun  - collection of images, videos and audio files