Hi Phill, marvellous thread, and a phenomenal amount of work.
I notice from the 1847 Godfrey map that the present outfall route into the river was then identified as "mill race", implying that the now abandoned Steander/Timble Beck route was the original outfall. Both were heavily surrounded by mills, dyeworks, and other concerns. There must have been a fair number of waterwheels driven by the watercourses, giving purpose to the weirs you describe.
The 1906 Godfrey map marks part of the area enclosed by the two routes as "Fearn's Island, which might be due to that enclosure.
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