River Ancholme

River Ancholme

Infobox River | river_name = River Ancholme

caption = The River Ancholme in Brigg
origin = Bishopbridge, Lincolnshire
mouth = South Ferriby, Lincolnshire (The Humber, North Sea)
length = 27 km (17 mi) (navigable)

The River Ancholme is a river in North Lincolnshire, England, and a tributary of the Humber estuary. It rises south of Bishopbridge (west of Market Rasen), and passes through many Lincolnshire Villages, notably the market town of Brigg and flows north into the Humber at South Ferriby. In its natural post-glacial state, the river's valley was flat-bottomed, for it had formed the bed of glacial Lake Ancholme, on an outwash delta as the ice retreated, [C. R. Twidale, "Glacial Overflow Channels in North Lincolnshire", "Transactions and Papers (Institute of British Geographers)", No. 22 (1956:47-54).] and consequently fenny. The river still has a distinctly rural character, and the landscape is agricultural.

North of Bishopbridge, where the River Rase joins the Ancholme, the river runs in two intertwining channels. In the town of Brigg, the river splits into two, the 'Old River Ancholme', which maintains its natural course through the center of the town, and the man-made 'New River Ancholme' which flows almost straight through some of the former industrial areas of the town. The two Rivers create an 'island' in the center of Brigg, known locally as 'Island Carr'.

Today the river is mostly used for recreation, with over 300 boats registered.


Boats have used the river for many centuries, and it was an important route for transporting cargo from the rural communities to the industrial towns. In the 19th century, a passenger packet boat ran from Brigg to South Ferriby and connected with a steamer to Hull. As early as the 13th century local landowners paid subscriptions for work to be undertaken with the aim of facilitating navigation and land drainage. The river's charter is one of the oldest in the country.

Lots of steamer vessels used the Ancholme up until the 1980s for transport of cargo to and from the factories along the River bank in Brigg. On Tuesday 4th of July 2006 a local history group held a meeting called "The story of the Swift", which was about a barge which worked between Hull docks and the River Ancholme. The vessel was called "The Swift" and is today privately owned and used as a houseboat. The owner of the vessel plans to bring the "Swift" back to Brigg in the near future. In 1635 Sir John Monson drained the Ancholme valley by cutting a straight new channel making two rivers at Brigg, which made the town less vulnerable to flooding. Sir John was a local landowner based at Owersby, further down the River Ancholme. The draining of the "Ancholme Level" was a lesser project among the fenland "improvements" undertaken under contracts to patentees by the government of Charles I in the 1630s; "With the possible exception of the Ancholme Level the draining of the fens was executed and defended by a continuous and unscrupulous use of the power and authority of the royal government to manipulate local institutions and to overawe the local populace." [Mark E. Kennedy, "Charles I and Local Government: The Draining of the East and West Fens" "Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned with British Studies" 15.1 (Spring 1983):19-31) ]

Boat trips

Daily boat trips were a common sight on the Ancholme in the Brigg area between 1999 and 2003, and proved to be hugely successful. The services however ended soon after 2003. Many local people, committee's and businesses hope to restore these trips in the near future, possibly with the help of The Prince's Trust charity. Local businesses are also planning on raising money to launch a 'River Taxi' service in the area.

Troubled Waters (campaign)

Troubled Waters is an ongoing campaign supported by many residents in the town of Brigg along the Ancholme. The campaign tries to tackle some of the issues regarding rubbish being thrown in the river, and the obstructions caused by fishermen on the riverbank footpath. The campaign has also highlighted the issues caused by youths along the River bank, such as the destruction and damage of tables, benches, life buoys, dustbins and decking, and general vandalism. As of October 2008, these problems seem to have been solved, with improved Police patrols along the River bank in the trouble hotspots, and regular cleaning work which is carried out by the local council.



External links

* [http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/subjects/navigation/747415/788356/150323/?lang=_e Environment Agency : River Ancholme]

ee also

*Rivers of the United Kingdom
*Hibaldstow Bridge

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