The River Axe is a river in South West England.
The river is formed by water entering swallets in the limestone and rises from the ground at Wookey Hole Caves in the Mendip Hills in Somerset, and runs through a V-
The river was navigable from the middle ages until 1915, and used for international trade.
The river's estuary at Uphill
The River Axe is formed by the water entering the cave systems and flows through the third and first chambers, from which it flows to the resurgence, through two sumps 40 metres (130 ft) and 30 metres (98 ft) long, where it leaves the cave and enters the open air.  It is the second largest resurgence on Mendip, with an estimated catchment area of 46.2 square kilometres (17.8 sq mi), and an average discharge of 789 litres (174 imp gal; 208 US gal) per second. Some of the water is allogenic in origin i.e. drained off non-
From Wookey Hole village the river flows through a ravine and then west through the village of Wookey. At Wookey the River splits into two channels with the ‘Lower River Axe’ running past to the south of the village west towards Henton and then onto Panborough Moor where it joins a series of rhynes and drains supplying water to the wetland in the area. The Lower River Axe then runs north along the west most edge of Knowle Moor whilst the River Axe continues west through the same moor. The two channels meet again on the boundary between Knowle and Panborough Moors.
The river continues northwest past Wedmore Moor and through Oxmoor, Stoke Moor and Monk Moor. The river passes through the settlement of Lower Weare and on to the south of Loxton. From this point until it passes between Uphill Cliff and Brean Down, then reaches the coast at Weston Bay, the river forms the northern boundary of the county.
Tributaries of the Axe include three rivers called Yeo: the Cheddar Yeo, the Mark Yeo and the Lox Yeo.
The word Axe is a version of the Celtic word for water.
The lower reaches of the Axe have a history of navigation from the harbour at Uphill through to the settlement of Weare. The current tidal limit of the Axe is the sluice gates at Bleadon and Brean Cross.
In the Middle Ages overseas trade was carried out from the port of Rackley, which is now north of the river as the course has been diverted. Rackley is now a farm below Crook Peak and west of Axbridge, which also had wharves. In the 14th century a French ship sailed up the river and by 1388 Thomas Tanner from Wells used Rackley to export cloth and corn to Portugal, and received iron and salt in exchange. Later slate was imported through this route and it may have still be possible to trade through Rackley until the act of 1915 authorising the drainage of the Axe and installation of the flood gate at Bleadon. Bleadon had been a small port, sometimes known as Lympsham Wharf, for many years, with the arrival of the railway in 1841 making this the furthest navigable point. It was last used by the ketch Democrat in 1942.
A series of 11 watermills were powered by the river but the only one which remains is at Burcott.