Avon (āˈvən, ăvˈən) [key] [Celtic, = river], name of several rivers in England. 1 Also called Bristol Avon or Lower Avon, rising in SW England at Tetbury, Gloucestershire, and flowing 75 mi (121 km) E, S, and then NW through Bath and Bristol to the Severn River at Avonmouth. It is navigable for large vessels to Bristol, an important port. 2 Also called East Avon, rising at Devizes, Wiltshire, S England, and flowing 48 mi (77 km) S past Salisbury to the English Channel at Christchurch. It is navigable for small craft below Salisbury. 3 Also called Upper Avon, the most famous of the Avon rivers, sometimes known as Shakespeare's Avon. It rises near Naseby, Northamptonshire, S central England, and flows 96 mi (154 km) SW to the Severn River near Tewkesbury, passing Rugby, Warwick, and Stratford-upon-Avon.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.