Loughborough is a town founded in the Soar Valley, located on a river terrace slightly above the Nanpantan flood plains. Over time, Loughborough expanded and the waterways got in the way but came in handy when the Loughborough Navigation was built in 1778. This used water from Woodbrook and the River Soar to maintain the required water levels for the Navigation to run. With the expansion of Loughborough in the 19th century and the need of a fresh water source for the Town’s population, something had to be done about Woodbrook getting in the way. The town’s planners made the decision to run Woodbrook through the centre of Loughborough, in a culvert in 1870. This was done to provide a fresh flowing water supply following a Cholera outbreak in 1848, prompted by the board of health demanding a solution to the problem. This was intended to be a cheaper, simplified version of Bazalgette’s sewers built 10/20 years previous, but Loughborough’s had now pumps and relied on the brook’s natural flow. There are sections where the brook is open, mainly outside of the town centre, with the occasional culvert under a road or estate. In the town centre itself, the majority of the brook is below ground, just how I like it, with the occasional opening to provide access for maintenance. In the 1990’s parts of the culverts under the town centre were repaired or rebuilt with concrete,
Working downstream, the brook goes past Queens Park and Carillon and Charnwood Museum then under the Town Hall (built in 1855). It then snakes under the busy streets and shops in the centre eventully opening up next to the Rushes Shopping centre. This part was extended when the shopping centre was built in 2000.
We headed upstream, starting at The Rushes. From the outside it looked like a quick concrete structure, but once we entered on I turned on a more powerful torch we quickly realised that the culvert was much older and more beautiful than we first perceived. When in there we found a handbag and I looked fabulous.
Explored with Shepshed Diamondback and Miss Mayhem
When Shepshed Diamondback mentioned this to me, we both assumed it would be purely concrete. And on entering it looked as so we were correct.
Then I turned my 2k lumen torch on.
Once we had our kit ready and commenced forward, we realised the beauty of what we had discovered
Seeing this, I thought cool a junction
But it was a dual channel
When we saw daylight, we were disappointed that the culvert was coming to an end. But walking closer to the light we found there was a present waiting for us in the form of another section of culvert
Cheers for looking