Flood levels of the River Eden

Floods on the River Eden have often occured over the centuries.
The height of these floods can be seen on wooden panelling in St. Lawrence's Church, Appleby.

Flood levels, St Lawrence's Church, Appleby Flood level, February 1822 Flood level, December 2015
Flood levels, Appleby                        Flood level, February 1822                                  Flood level, December 2015

Floods in December 2015

An unscheduled Event was the flooding on the wekend of 4/5/6 December 2015 as Storm Desmond struck Cumbria. A record rainfall in Cumbria (341.4 mm in 24 hrs on Honister pass, a UK record) caused severe flooding, particularly in Appleby, Kendal, Carlisle and Cockermouth.

The River Eden in Mugrave was the highest in living memory. Much of the Church Field was under several feet under water and some fences were damaged.  The Tithe Barn and stables were also flooded, but they are designed for it and no damage was done. Indeed the earth floor should be covered with water occasionally to prevent it drying out! 

Musgrave Church Field has a long history of flooding. In 1822 all the bridges on the Eden, except Warcop Bridge, were washed away. A new Musgrave Bridge was built of stone in 1825. This made the flooding worse, so some of the wall by the road was replaced by wrought iron railings in 1830 to let the water through, which they still do. The railings were supplied by William Reed, weighed 47 cwt, 20 lb and cost £35 5s 6½d plus installation costs. The bridge was strengthened in 2006 and was not damaged. You can still clearly see the old stone ford, Musgrave Wath, just below the bridge.

Musgrave Floods pano 2
The River Eden in flood looking towards Musgrave Bridge and Great Musgrave.

River Level now

Visit the Great Musgrave Flow Monitoring Station to see the current level of the River Eden, and a plot of the level in recent years, as part of the River Levels and Flood Warnings site run by the Environment Agency.

The normal level of the Eden at Great Musgrave Bridge in average weather conditions is between 0.16m and 0.38m. It has been between these levels for at least 158 days in the past year.

The usual range of the Eden at Great Musgrave Bridge in more extreme weather conditions is between 0.14m and 1.39m. It has been between these levels for 90% of the time since monitoring began.

The most recent high is 2.90m, reached on Thursday 8th December 2011 at 1:45pm. 

The highest level ever recorded at the Eden at Great Musgrave Bridge is 2.90m, recorded on Thursday 8th December 2011 at 1:45pm. It reached 2.76m on Saturday 5th Decemeber 2015 (Storm Desmond).