STOUR, the name of several English rivers, (i) The EastAnglian Stour rises in the slight chalk hills in the south-east of Cambridgeshire and follows a course ranging from east to southeast to the North Sea at Harwich, passing Clare, Sudbury, Nayland and Manningtree. It falls about 380 ft. in a course of 60 m., and drains an area of 407 sq. m. Over nearly its entire course it forms the boundary between Suffolk and Essex. From Manningtree downward its course is estuarine, and it is joined immediately above Harwich by the estuary of the Orwell. It is navigable up to Sudbury but does not bear much traffic. (2) The Kentish Stour or Great Stour rises on the southern face of the North Downs, the branch called the East Stour having its source not far inland from Hythe, but flowing at first away from the sea, while the main or western branch rises near Lenham. They unite at Ashford. Passing Canterbury, the Stour divides into two branches, the larger reaching the English Channel in Pegwell Bay, while the smaller runs north to the North Sea at Reculver. The larger branch is joined in the levels by the Little Stour from the south. The Stour is navigable to Fordwich near Canterbury, but is little used above Sandwich. Its length is about 40 m., its fall from Ashford 150 ft., and its drainage area 370 sq. m. The name of Stour belongs also to (3) a considerable but unnavigable tributary of the Hampshire Avon, rising in Wiltshire, and touching Somersetshire and Dorsetshire before it joins the main river in Hampshire close to its mouth; (4) a left bank tributary of the Severn, which it joins at Stourport, its course being followed by the Worcestershire and Staffordshire canal; and (5) a small tributary of the upper Avon, rising in the north of Oxfordshire in the hills west of Banbury, and joining the main river a little below Stratford-on-Avon.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)