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The River Lea and the New River

The River Lea runs from Leagrave at the edge of Luton into Hertfordshire and the south to enter Greater London near Waltham Cross. (Another stream starts two miles to the west at Houghton Regis but seems seldom to be considered as the source.) It continues south through Enfield Lock, Ponders End, Brimsdown and Tottenham Hale to Stratford. The spellings Lea and Lee are both in current use, but the river is more often called the River Lea (anciently sometimes the River Ley) and the navigation the Lee Navigation.

For hundreds of years the river was used as a transportation highway for moving various commodities to the metropolis. Today the river is mainly used by pleasure barges, along with some movement of building material to the 2012 Olympic site. Water taken from the Lea between Hertford and Broxbourne also forms the basis of the New River, constructed to bring clean drinking water to London in the 17th century

river lea
Picture by kind permission of Peter Marshall - http://www.river-lea.co.uk