We use essential cookies to make our site work. We'd also like to set analytics cookies that help us make improvements by measuring how you use the site. These will be set only if you accept.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our cookies page.

Essential Cookies

Essential cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. For example, the selections you make here about which cookies to accept are stored in a cookie.

You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics Cookies

We'd like to set Google Analytics cookies to help us improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify you.

Third Party Cookies

Third party cookies are ones planted by other websites while using this site. This may occur (for example) where a Twitter or Facebook feed is embedded with a page. Selecting to turn these off will hide such content.

Skip to main content

Flooding Matters

There are two types of floods that might take place  in Stockbridge.  Flash floods can occur after a long dry period and there is then torrential rain for a short period of time.  The deluge of rain may cause the drainage system in the High Street and roads leading into it, to be overwhelmed and unable to cope with the volume of water but the flooding is usually short lived. At present the drains have been effective and this type of flooding has not occured. However, if you are concerned sandbags placed in front of doorways and plywood boards with towels draped over, snugly fitting into  doorways will provide protection.

Ground water flooding caused the severe damage to three  houses behind the Grosvenor in 2014.  Ground water floods typically occur if there has been continuous heavy rain for a prolonged period so that the level of the water below the surface of the ground rises, and the water continuing to fall out of the sky on to it, has nowhere to drain. Instead it sits on the surface and spreads. This type of flooding does not go away quickly.

Since the last ground water flood, Stockbridge has been protected by two new flood relief devices, one above the town and the other below.  The spillway is installed on the river system above the Greyhound. The carrier here, in normal conditions, will be approx. 2 ft above the level of the main river opposite. The spillway ensures that should the level of water rise it can be directed out, across the meadow to the main river.

Further down, alongside the Kingsmead Wier, and about 200 yards below the bridge is the bypass sluice (pictured) which was installed at the same time as the spillway. This sluice is 8 feet wide and consists of boards that fill the width of the sluice and stretch down to the riverbed.  In emergencies, all these boards can be pulled out directing water coming from upstream to flow away onto the flood plain, lowering the level of water in the river up to and above the bridge.

These two projects were funded by both TVBC and HCC.  They are continuously managed and if needed, repaired by the Houghton Fishing Club staff.

Stockbridge is fortunate that the river is not split into a myriad of separate owners but instead, above and below the town most of it is owned and managed by the Houghton Club. The Club employs permanent staff who continuously monitor and manage the flow of water through the main river and its side ‘carriers’ or streams.  During the worst of times, they will be up all night making sure that there are no blockages, such as fallen trees, checking the water levels and should it prove necessary, opening the sluices. 

We all know that climate change is occurring and it would be foolish to pretend that Stockbridge will never flood.  What we can be certain of, however, is that Stockbridge is provided with three excellent ways of protecting itself from the worst of the flooding.  Nevertheless be prepared. Sign up for email updates from the News Section of the Parish Council website. This is where any updates from the Houghton Fishing Club staff will be posted and if you sign up for the alerts the information will come straight to your inbox. If you consider yourself vulnerable in the case of flooding email and she can ensure your details are passed to the emergency services, should that prove necessary.


This map shows the extent of surface water (flash) flooding. This map shows the extent of surface water (flash) flooding.
This map show the extent of flooding when the flood defences are taken into account. This map show the extent of flooding when the flood defences are taken into account.

Both the above maps use Environment Agency data.

They represent the EAs best estimate of land at risk of flooding when the flood defences are being utilised. 


Riparian landlords

It is the responsibility of Stockbridge's riparian landlords to keep the waterways that they own clear. Keeping the streams clear will ensure that the water is allowed to flow away from built up areas quickly.

The Parish Council's Resilience Working Group works on plans to provide resilience in the parish in case of extra challenges and emergencies.

The form is for those who consider themselves vulnerable in the event of a flood is should be filled in and emailed to the clerk ( If you prefer, please contact the clerk and she can arrange for the form to be picked up by a Councillor or please post the form to her (details, incl phone number, on the contact page). 

If you can provide assistance in the event of a flood or you possess specialist equipment that may be of use (such as a 4WD vehicle) please also fill in the form and email it to the Clerk. ( 

More information about what to do in the event of flooding is available here: