In 1564-6 John Trew of Glamorgan cut a 1¾ mile channel which became the Exeter ship canal, the first such, in England. The canal was only 16ft wide and 3ft deep but it made it possible for barges to bypass the shallow and unreliable river. The old St Leonard's Weir was replaced by Trews Weir to raise the river to feed the canal. The weir was used to provide water for a fulling mill, a cotton mill and a paper mill.
Ezekiel 47:9 And wherever the river goes,[a] every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea[b] may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes.
The constant flow of river streams
Speak of your blessings here that seems
To pour upon my arid soul,
Refresh, renew and make me whole.
As rain falls down on higher ground
Towards the coast as seaward bound,
The river courses ‘cross the land;
On, on it goes till reach shore strand.
Lord, source of life, come wash my heart
With flowing waters, there impart
New purity of heart and mind
As in those waters, grace I find.
Help me dear Lord, to channel grace
To others there in arid place,
And in the waters you provide
Flow on for ever by your side.
“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.” - Rainer Maria Rilke