River Quaggy

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The River Quaggy (often the Quaggy River or simply Quaggy) is a river, 17 km in length, passing through the south-east London boroughs of Bromley, Greenwich and Lewisham; in its lower reaches it is an urban river, in its upper reaches further from London it is more natural and known as the Kyd Brook. The river rises from two sources near Farnborough Hospital at Locksbottom and is a tributary of the River Ravensbourne which it flows into near Lewisham station in Lewisham.<ref name=Map>River Map at QWAG</ref>

A long stretch of Kyd Brook is visible in Hawkwood, an area of open farmland and countryside upstream of Chislehurst and is owned and managed by the National Trust, but open to the public free of charge. From there the river flows northwards through Sundridge Park Golf Course then on across Chinbrook Meadows between Chinbrook and Grove Park, then through the outer parts of Mottingham and Middle Park into Sutcliffe Park and the edge of Eltham. The river then flows west through southern Kidbrooke and Blackheath then finally through Lee and its park Manor House Gardens into Lewisham where it joins the River Ravensbourne next to Lewisham station. In Sutcliffe Park, the river used to run under the road and covered culvert through the park. This was remodelled several years ago to reintroduce a flood area to protect areas further down stream. Also this created a marshy area for wildlife to return. It is now an oasis full of wildlife in the middle of two major roads.

As part of the Ravensbourne catchment area, the river is kept constantly under inspection by the Environment Agency which issues flood warnings when applicable.

River engineering

In the 1960s the River Quaggy within Chinbrook Meadows, Sutcliffe Park, and other parks was channelized into long straight concrete culverts to alleviate flooding. In Chinbrook Meadows the channelized river was closed off behind tall hedges and iron fences, this cut the park in two with the larger part to the east of the river. In the early 2000s however the concrete channel with its fences and hedges was demolished and river was remodelled to give a natural, meandering appearance with a small flood plain; this was to encourage wild plants and animals back to the area and to be more pleasant and attractive for the public. There are several wooden foot bridges over the river, that replaced the concrete ones with iron fences. The regeneration was completed on 1 October 2002 and cost a reported £1.1million. Since the restoration Chinbrook Meadows has won the Green Flag Award in two years in a row. Shortly after the regeneration was completed the Quaggy was given a similar regeneration further downstream within Sutcliffe Park, a mile and a half to the north.


The name has existed for quite a long while; references to it can be found in numerous works of British fiction in the 19th and 20th centuries, for example in Edith Nesbit's The New Treasure Seekers. The name probably originated from the words quagmire and quaggy; but it has now become a proper noun as opposed to an adjective or common noun.

Other names

The river has been known by other names. Today Kyd Brook usually refers to the river in its upper reaches in Chislehurst and Farnborough. The place Kidbrooke took its name from the river but is on its lower reaches, but there are two tributaries here called Middle Kid Brook and Lower Kid Brook. The place Chinbrook is derived from "Chin Brook" which was another alternative name for the Quaggy River in that area at the turn of the twentieth century.


The River Quaggy itself is a tributary of the River Ravensbourne which in turn flows into the River Thames. The Quaggy also has several small and named tributaries of its own. From source to mouth they are:<ref name=Map/>

  • Main Branch (3.7 km)
  • East Branch (2.2 km) - the two branches rise in Locksbottom, flow north and join together at Petts Wood.
  • Milk Street Ditch (0.3 km), rises near and is named after Milk Street in Sundridge, then flows east and joins the Quaggy in Sundridge Park Golf Course.
  • Grove Park Ditch (0.5 km), rises in Lower Marvels Wood, Mottingham, flows west and joins the Quaggy in Chinbrook Meadows.
  • Little Quaggy (0.7 km), rises in Mottingham, flows west and joins the Quaggy near Horn Park
  • Lower Kid Brooke (2.5 km), rises in Well Hall, Eltham and flows southeast splitting into two distributaries before and joining the Quaggy in southern Blackheath.
  • Middle Kid Brooke (1.9 km), rises in Kidbrooke and flows southest splitting into two distributaries before joining the Quaggy in Lee. These tributaries give their name to Kidbrooke.
  • Quaggy Hither Green (1 km), rises in Hither Green and flows north joining the Quaggy north of Hither Green railway station.

..... Quaggy.Another fairly substantial tributary and also so named, runs west,southwest from its source at Shooters Hill amalgamating with the main body in Kidbrooke. Template:Commonscat



External links