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Bytham River facts for kids

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The Bytham River was one of the great Pleistocene rivers of central and eastern England until it was destroyed by the advancing ice sheets of the Anglian Glaciation around 450,000 years ago. It is named after Castle Bytham in Lincolnshire. Its catchment area included Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire and Derbyshire, and it flowed eastward across East Anglia to the North Sea.

It was formed prior to the Anglian ice advance some 450,000 years ago, commencing around modern day Reading and flowing north-east to a delta somewhere between modern day Happisburgh (pronounced Haysborough) and Norton Subcourse in East Anglia. At that time, southern England was joined to France in a land bridge, and the rivers, including the Rhine, flowed north into a lake formed at the edge of the ice sheet.

"As the Bytham River slowed past Warren Hill (near modern day Kettering) towards its delta on what is now the East Anglian coast, it deposited sediments on the edge of the huge north-facing bay, into which the Rhine also flowed. The sites of Norton Subcourse in Norfolk and nearby Pakefield, just over the border in Suffolk, were probably both related to the Bytham, and they record a time when the climate of Britain was balmy and Mediterranean, and this part of East Anglia was a fertile estuarine plain."

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