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WEAR, a river of Durham, England, rising in the Pennine chain near the Cumberland border, and traversing a valley about 60 m. in length to the North Sea, with a drainage area of 458 sq. m. A series of streams draining from the hills between Killhope Law and Burnhope Seat (2452 ft.) are collected at Wearhead, up to which point the valley is traversed by a branc of the North-Eastern railway. Hence eastward, past the small towns of St John's Chapel and Stanhope, and as far as that of Wolsingham, Weardale is narrow and picturesque, sharply aligned by high-lying moorland. Below, it takes a south-easterly bend as far as Bishop Auckland, then turns northward and northeastward, the course of the river becoming extremely sinuous. The scenery is particularly fine where the river sweeps round the bold peninsula which bears the cathedral and castle of the city of Durham. The valley line continues northerly until Chesterle-Street is passed, then it turns north-east; and soon the river becomes navigable, carrying a great traffic in coal, and having its banks lined with factories. At the mouth is the large seaport of Sunderland.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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