Project info


Floods on the River Wye


Click here to view some barge transactions

The rise and fall of the River Wye is one the largest ranges of British rivers and floods can happen quite suddenly. These are documented for several centuries, one of the highest being in February 1795.

Other high floods have occurred in 1809, 1824, 1831 and 1852

November 2005

The floods in November 2005 were fairly minor and caused no disruption to road traffic. Nonetheless they flooded the low-lying lands near the river. These fields were meadows until recent times - a term which is now not very meaningful to most people. A meadow was where grass was grown high so that it could be mown and stored as hay for winter food for livestock. This was a new technology in the late Saxon period and without it large numbers of animals would need to be slaughtered before winter as there would be no means of feeding them. It was as important that livestock were not let into meadows while the hay was growing as it was that they were not let into fields where crops for human consumption were growing -

'Little Boy Blue, come blow your horn,
The sheep's in the meadow, the cow's in the corn.'

Pasture was the term for land where livestock was grazed.

Riverside land was used for meadows because the winter floods would  provide nutrients which encouraged growth.



The river from Holme Lacy Bridge

Sellack churchyard


The Wye at Fownhope

Holme Lacy

Holme Lacy

The confluence of the Wye and the Lugg

Hoarwithy from Caradoc

Moonrise at Fownhope

Back to TOP


maintained by Archenfield Archaeology Ltd


This project was part-financed by the European Union (EAGGF) and DEFRA through the Herefordshire Rivers LEADER+ Programme.