The Brook
Langham Brook rises on Cold Overton Hill and is a tributary of the river Soar which in turn feeds into the Trent. During the 1920s the brook was re-routed to increase churchyard land available for burials. The brook originally ran alongside the path from the junction of Church Street and New Lane to the South Porch of the Parish Church. A new, shorter and straighter water course was constructed at the western edge of the churchyard, its current position. During the 1970s the brook regularly flooded the churchyard, Well Street, Ashwell Road and the A606. The changes in farming practices and increased use of agricultural land drains exacerbated the problem. Keeping the watercourse clear is the responsibility of the riparian owners, but after parish council pressure, the water authority spent a considerable sum clearing the invert level and banks. This greatly improved the water flow ensuring floods occurred far less frequently. More recently, the opening beneath the bridge in Ashwell Road, OS ref SK84638 11369, has
been increased preventing a partial damming of the water course and since then actual flooding of property has not occurred. The watercourse through field OS ref SK84071 10914 has some historical interest as this area of the brook has been used as a place for dyeing clothing and other materials, though as yet, there has been no official research work carried out. There is a much earlier bridge visible beneath the bridge over the brook in Bridge Street. This bridge would have been part of the main route north/south through the village. Until the 19th c. there was no through road at the Cold Overton Road junction. The current A606 bridge and road shaping to remove the hump which captured early charabancs was carried out during the 1920s. The brook was badly polluted until mains water and sewers were installed in 1956 and there are numerous medical officers reports about the smell and possible ill effects upon the health of villagers. The water level of the brook can increase dramatically during inclement weather, an increase of 0.25m an hour is not unusual. During periods of more normal flow the water is sufficiently clean to support Kingfishers and other fauna. During dry spells the flow can decrease to a trickle making life very difficult for the fauna. On the Eastern edge of the village, OS SK84983 11279, the Seven Trent sewage treatment works returns clean water to Langham Brook. When Ruddles Brewery was operating it had its treatment works on the same site but its effluent was more difficult to treat and there were numerous complaints about unpleasant smells which the villagers were told “its a perception!!”  The past hundred years has seen the brook flooding many times, the following is not a complete list but at least it shows the regularity: 1896 x2; 1897 x2; 1898; 1899 x2; 1900 x3; 1901 x3; 1903 x2; 1904 x2; 1906; 1908, 1909; 1910; 1934; 1944; 1945; 1946; 1947; 1948; 1949; 1953; 1958; 1961 x2; 1963 x2; 1980; 1981; 1983; 1984; 1985 … ; 2007; 2008; 2012
Langham Brook
Langham in Rutland ©