River Glen, Lincolnshire

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The River Glen is a river in Lincolnshire, England with a short stretch passing through Rutland near Essendine.

The river's name appears to derive from a Brythonic Celtic language but there is a strong early English connection.



In the language of the Romano-Britons, which has come down to us in the form of languages like Welsh, the neighbouring rivers, the Glen and the Welland seem to have been given contrasting names. The Welland flowed from the area underlain by the Northampton Sands which in many places are bound together by iron oxide to form ironstone. In the Roman period, the sands were easily worked as arable land and the ironstone was dug for smelting. In both cases, the ground was exposed to erosion which meant that silt was carried down to The Fens by the river. In modern Welsh, gwaelod means bottom and its plural, gwaelodion means sediment. Among the medieval forms of the name 'Welland' is Weolod. Since, in certain grammatical circumstances (soft mutation) the Welsh initial 'G' is lost, the river seems to have been named from its silty nature. In contrast, the Glen flowed from clays and limestone. Areas with clay-based soils tended to remain as woodland whilst the limestone areas provided grassland for pasture. Consequently, the River Glen did not carry much sediment. The modern Welsh for clean is glân. The relative amounts of silt deposited in the fens around Maxey and around Thurlby respectively, by the two rivers, support this view.


The river has two sources, both in the low ridge of Jurassic rocks in the west of the county. The East Glen rises as a number of small streams near to Ropsley and Humby, close to the 300-foot (91 m) countour. It flows in a southerly direction, passing to the east of Ingoldsby and to the west of Bulby, to arrive at Edenham. The East Glen is sometimes called the River Eden, derived as a back-formation from its passing through the parish of Edenham. It continues south through Toft, where a Grade II listed bridge built in the early 1800s crosses,[1] and Manthorpe, where there is another listed bridge with a single elliptical arch built in 1813,[2] before turning east to join the West Glen at Wilsthorpe, Lincolnshire. The West Glen also has a number of sources, near to the 330-foot (100 m) contour at Old Somerby and Boothby Pagnall. It flows more or less parallel to the East Glen, passing through Bitchfield, Burton-le-Coggles, Corby Glen and Creeton to reach Essendine, where it turns east towards Greatford.[3] In the village, a two-arched stone bridge built in the late 1700s carries Church Lane over the river.[4]

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