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Anyone from Creech will know of the River Tone but how many know of the stream that runs from North End across the fields behind Dillons Road and joins up with the River Tone at Ham?

Map 1 (click to zoom)

As far as I am aware the stream doesn’t have a name, so for the purposes of this article I am going to name it Brimlands Stream after a barn, known as Little Brimlands Shed (photo) situated some 400 metres South West of the source of the stream, a catchment area near Broomfield (Map 1, No. 1).

The barn (Map 1, No. 2) can be easily seen on the left when taking the road from Clavelshay to Broomfield.

Incidentally, whilst researching this article I spoke to Colin Ashford, a former farmer of Upper Clavelshay Farm, who pointed out that if you look at the barn closely you’ll notice the roof line on the right hand wing drops about 18 inches.

Little Brimlands Shed

The catchment area is an area of over 20 acres (map reference 2430, 3140*) farmed by Upper Clavelshay Farm. There is a public footpath across the fields which leads to a ruined cottage in the catchment area. Years ago there was an open pond but that is now long covered over.

Taking the footpath northwest from the road it crosses a couple of styles and then, if you look carefully in the hedgerow, you’ll see a well which was used to draw water off the stream for the cottage.

The catchment area is used to this day to collect drinking water for a couple of remote houses in the area where it would simply be too expensive to pipe in mains water.

Map 2

Returning by the footpath across the fields back towards Little Brimlands Shed, on your left there is a long row of fir trees that form a distinctive part of the skyline that can be seen from miles around.

The stream marks the boundary between Taunton and Bridgwater and runs in a south easterly direction through to Coombe Bottom and Coombe (Map 2). It flows on through the grounds of Walford House and then under the A38 just 100m south of Walford Cross (Map 3, No. 3).

From here it heads more or less due South where it flows under the M5 towards North End, Creech where it can be easily seen on the walk through the trees.

Map 3

At North End the stream is only 14m above sea level after having started life at 200m near Broomfield. The stream can be seen on each side of the road to Creech Heathfield. It flows behind the houses at The Myrtles where another tributary (marked green on Map 4) joins it that runs from behind Nigel K Ford undertakers (this stream incidentally flows from the ponds near Noah’s Hill in West Monkton).

Back to Brimlands Stream, it splits into two just behind The Myrtles. The southerly (Creech) spur (marked pink on Map 4) crosses a quaint style bridge (Map 4 No. 4) then it almost dries up completely and connects with the Bridgwater & Taunton canal near the Car Park.

Map 4

The northerly spur runs across the fields to Foxhole (2800, 2580) where it is a good 3m below the surface of the canal. From the public footpath on the western side of the canal one realises the tremendous feat of engineering to build the canal where the canal bank is quite a climb of over 3 metres.

The stream flows under the canal and railway line next to the old Linesman hut (photo).

Now on to the last part of Brimland Stream’s epic journey.

Linesmans Hut

Having flowed for the best part of 10 miles it is now only 8m above sea level and meanders its way across the low lying flatland where it splits into two and joins the River Tone at Ham Weir (Map 5, No.5) and half a mile downstream (2910, 2605).

A few miles on at Burrowbridge, the original raindrops that fell onto the fields near Broomfield join their Dorset counterparts at the River Parrett and finally into the Bristol Channel. From there is anybody’s guess!

Map 5

* All map references are based on Ordnance Survey map 193
Article submitted by Nigel Finch, Langaller, April 2010