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River Medina

River Medina
Newport-cowes wb.jpg
The Medina estuary showing Newport and Cowes.
Physical characteristics
Main source St Catherine's Down
River mouth Solent
Length 17 km (11 mi)

The River Medina is the main river of the Isle of Wight, England, rising at St Catherine's Down near Blackgang and Chale, and flowing generally northwards through the capital Newport, towards the Solent at Cowes. The river is a navigable tidal estuary from Newport northwards, where it takes the form of a ria (a drowned valley).

Its current state has occurred because the Medina used to be a tributary of what was once the "River Solent" and had a much larger catchment area. As the Solent valley flooded and the island eroded, the river received less water flow and more sediment, causing it to become more tidal.

The river is bridged at Newport. Cowes is connected to East Cowes by a chain ferry known as the Cowes Floating Bridge.[1]

The name Medina comes from the Old English Meðune meaning "the middle one", and the current pronunciation was first recorded as 'Medine' in 1196.[2]

The river is used by yachtsmen as a very safe harbour. Along the banks of the Medina there are many old warehouses and wharves where in the past flying boats, hovercraft and steam ships were developed and built. The Classic Boat Museum displays much of the river's history alongside the history of yachting. The Island Harbour Marina, at the site of an old tidal mill, is also on the river, about two miles from Newport.

As well as the chain ferry, the River Medina has several small ferries which cater mainly for sailors.

Medina, Western Australia is a suburb in Perth named after it.

Views along the river

See also


  1. ^ "IWight - Cowes Chain Ferry Homepage". Archived from the original on 2008-10-05. Retrieved 2008-09-30.
  2. ^ Popular Dictionary of English Place-Names, OUP, Mills A D (1991)