River Leadon

The River Leadon is a tributary of the River Severn. It rises just south of the village of Acton Beauchamp, and flows south past Bosbury to the town of Ledbury. It then flows south and east past Dymock, Upleadon and Highleadon to join the Severn at Over, just west of Gloucester.

In the Middle Ages the Leadon flowed in two branches for the last two miles. The main stream, known as the New Leadon, flowed south of Over to join the river south of Over Bridge.

The river was prone to flooding, and to alleviate the problem the river was diverted in 1867 to flow along the branch previously known as the Old Leadon, and now the only course of the river, flowing into the Severn north of Over.

The name 'Leadon' or 'Leddon' is of Celtic origin, and means "broad stream". - but please note the
river-name derivations.

" Ledon, which her way doth through the desart make,
Though near to Dene ally'd, determined to forsake Her course,
and her clear lims among the bushes hide,
Lest by Sylvans, (should she chance to be espide)
She might unmaiden'd go unto the soveraign flood!
So many were the rapes done on the watery brood,
That Sabrine to her sire great Neptune forc'd to sue,
The ryots to represse of this outrageous crue."

The river Leadon as described by Michaell Drayton Esqr. [Part I] in the seventh song of his Poly-Olbion

The first instalment of Michael Drayton's long topographical and antiquarian poem, written in weighty alexandrines, appeared in 1612. The topographical structure is organised around rivers, the river passages variously recalling Spenser's poetry.

Wordsworth - St Katherine of Ledbury

Wordsworth - Sonnet - St Katherine of Ledbury

WHEN human touch (as monkish books attest) 
Nor was applied nor could be,
Ledbury bells Broke forth in concert flung adown the dells, 
And upward, high as Malvern’s cloudy crest; 
Sweet tones, and caught by a noble Lady blest 
To rapture! Mabel listened at the side 
Of her loved mistress: soon the music died, 

And Catherine said, “Here I set up my rest.” 
Warned in a dream, the Wanderer long had sought 
A home that by such miracle of sound
Must be revealed: --she heard it now, or felt 
The deep, deep joy of a confiding thought; 
And there, a saintly Anchoress, she dwelt 
Till she exchanged for heaven that happy ground.