River Hodder

River Hodder

The River Hodder is a river in Lancashire, England. The river is a County Biological Heritage Site.

It rises on White Hill and flows for 30 miles to the River Ribble, of which it is the largest tributary. The confluence of the rivers is an impressive sight, particularly when both are in .

The Hodder drains much of the Forest of Bowland area of outstanding natural beauty and much of its course is through this scenic area.

The upper reaches of the river feed the large Stocks Reservoir, which provides much of Lancashire's water supply. After exiting the reservoir, the Hodder continues in a general southward direction. It collects many tributaries from the valleys of Bowland and, lower down, parts of the Ribble Valley. Most notable among the feeders of the Hodder are Croasdale Brook, Easington Brook, the River Dunsop, Langden Brook and the River Loud.

Much of the land in the Hodder Valley further to the north is owned by the Crown as Duke of Lancaster, whilst further down, farming land on the Stonyhurst Estate is owned by Stonyhurst College and the Jesuits. The river runs close to the College and passes adjacent to the former preparatory school, Hodder Place. The river lends its name to the pre-preparatory department at Stonyhurst, "Hodder House" and also years three to five known collectively as "Hodder Playroom".

The River Hodder eventually joins the River Ribble near Great Mitton, close to the River Calder.

The relief of the river starts over 400m above sea level and within a distance of 15km it drops to 0-99m above sea level.

The Lower Hodder marks the historic county boundary between Lancashire and the West Riding of Yorkshire.


The name Hodder is likely derived from Brythonic. Its meaning is either "pleasant stream" or possibly "boundary" (Welsh "yr odre"), the latter suggesting that the Lancashire/Yorkshire border has its origins in the depths of antiquity.


In geological history, the Hodder did not flow eastward around Longridge Fell to join the River Ribble, but instead ran westward along the Loud valley from Doeford Bridge to the "Derby Arms" north of Longridge (reversing its modern-day eastward flow), continuing south-westward through Halfpenny Lane on the west side of Longridge to join either Blundell Brook past Broughton church and Woodplumpton to join the River Wyre, or else Savick Brook through Fulwood to join the River Ribble. [Freeman, T.W., Rodgers, H.B., and Kinvig, R.H., (1966), "Lancashire, Cheshire and the Isle of Man", Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd, London, p.13]


The Hodder does not pass by any major towns, but the following villages are situated along the river:
* Slaidburn
* Newton
* Dunsop Bridge
* Whitewell
* Great Mitton


* Cow Ark Brook
** Mill Brook
** Hagg Clough
* River Loud
** Leagram Brook
*** Hill Clough
*** Burnslack Brook
** Chipping Brook
* Greystoneley Brook
** Hell Clough
** Dinkling Green Brook
* Withins Clough
* Red Syke
* Fielding Clough
* Langden Brook
** Hareden Brook
*** Lane Foot Brook
**** Fog Hill Clough
**** Cherry Gutter
*** Crackling Syke
*** Dimples Clough
** Losterdale Brook
*** Trough Brook
** Mere Clough Wham
** Bleadale Water
** Stransdale Brook
*** Stransdale Gutter
* Robin Clough
* River Dunsop
** Brennand River
*** Round Hill Water
*** Brown Syke
** Whitendale River
*** Sandy Gutter
* Black Brook
* Rough Syke
* Grey Gill
* Heaning Brook
* Birkett Brook
** Crimpton Brook
* Foulscales Brook
** Bonstone Brook
** Crag Beck
* Easington Brook
** Sough Clough
** Rye Clough
** Skelshaw Brook
** Langcliff Cross Brook
*** Tinklers Brook
**** Anna Land Brook
** Harrop Brook
** Dean Slack Brook
* King Syke
* Dunnow Syke
* Croasdale Brook
** Eller Beck
** Lanshaw Brook
*** Davison's Syke
*** Clough Beck
*** Dunsop Brook
** Hill Wood Syke
** Moor Syke
*** Round Hill Syke
** Black Brook
*** Hind Slack
* Barn Gill
** Park Beck
** Dugdale Syke
* Phynis Beck
** Wain Hill Syke
* Bottoms Beck
** Hesbert Hall Syke
** Hindley Head Clough
** Thorp Syke
** Dob Dale Beck
*** Nursery Beck
**** Brock Clough Beck
*** Brown Hills Beck
**** Ash Clough Swamp
* Hasgill Beck
** Cowgill Syke
** Rigg Gill Syke
* Copter Syke
* Hare Clough Beck
* White Syke
* Kearsden Holes
* Red Syke


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