River Bain

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River Bain
The Bain
Tilting Gate Weir near Thornton on the River Bain, Lincolnshire.jpg
Tilting Gate Weir near Thornton
Physical characteristics
 • locationLudford, Lincolnshire Wolds, England
 • elevation130 m (430 ft)
MouthRiver Witham
 • location
Dogdyke, Tattershall
 • coordinates
53°5′0.1″N 0°11′45.8″W / 53.083361°N 0.196056°W / 53.083361; -0.196056Coordinates: 53°5′0.1″N 0°11′45.8″W / 53.083361°N 0.196056°W / 53.083361; -0.196056
Basin features
 • leftOut Gowt, River Waring, Haltham Beck
The river in Horncastle

The River Bain is a river in Lincolnshire, England, and a tributary of the River Witham.[1][2]

The Bain rises in the Lincolnshire Wolds at Ludford,[3] a village on The Viking Way long-distance footpath, and flows through or past the villages of Burgh on Bain, Biscathorpe, Donington on Bain, Goulceby, Asterby and Hemingby before reaching the town of Horncastle where it is joined by the River Waring, which rises at Belchford, 5 miles (8.0 km) to the north east of Horncastle.[3][1]

After leaving Horncastle, the Bain flows through the villages of Kirkby on Bain, Coningsby and Tattershall, and joins the Witham at Dogdyke.[1] In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and after protracted negotiation, a group of venture capitalists led by Sir Joseph Banks[3] canalized the Bain between Horncastle and the Witham. The Horncastle Canal opened in 1802[3] and was an important goods route before the coming of the railway. It is no longer navigable, but is used extensively by anglers, canoeists, and naturalists.

The river contains significant populations of chub (Leuciscus cephalus), bream,[4] roach and rudd, as well as brown trout, pike, eel, and smaller species such as miller's thumb (Cottus gobio), gudgeon and stone loach (Nœmacheilus barbatus). It is also home to the threatened species of crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes, though there are also populations of the introduced American signal crayfish (Pasifastacus leniusculus), which competes with the native species for food.[5][6][7]

The Bain valley was formed by a glacier in the most recent ice-age and, although small, is very obvious.[7] The River Bain is very susceptible to flooding and many floods have occurred during its history, about once every 30–50 years, the most recent being the 2007 United Kingdom floods, when the river overtopped its banks all along its course. Horncastle was particularly badly hit.[8]

Settlements in the valley include Tattershall, Coningsby, Kirkby on Bain, Haltham, Roughton, Horncastle, Hemingby, Goulceby with Asterby, Donington on Bain, Burgh on Bain and Ludford.[1]

The weir and gauging station at Tattershall

Crossings of the River Bain/Horncastle Canal[edit]

This list is incomplete.

Number Name Locality Date Type Notes Image
1 Footbridge by at mouth by the River Witham Dogdyke On location of the Lincolnshire Loop Line railway bridge.
2 Footbridge at Tattershall Lakes Country Park Dogdyke Public Footpath
3 Bridge at Coningsby Ings Pumping Station Coningsby Ings near Tattershall Castle Private access
4 Tattershall Sluice Tattershall Castle Steel Truss Public Footpath Tattershall Sluice - geograph.org.uk - 702428.jpg
5 A153 Road Bridge Coningsby/Tattershall Concrete Beam Road Bridge over the River Bain, Coningsby - geograph.org.uk - 106253.jpg
6 Mason's Bridge Coningsby/Tattershall Steel Beam Public Footpath
Masons Lane Bridge.jpg
7 Old Railway Bridge Coningsby/Tattershall Brick Arch Disused. Formerly carried the Kirkstead and Little Steeping Railway. Railway Bridge at Coningsby - geograph.org.uk - 102197.jpg
8 Coningsby Lock Bridge Coningsby/Tattershall Concrete Beam Carries Wharf Lane
9 Farm Track Bridge Tumby Private access
10 Farm Track Bridge Tumby Private access
11 Bridge at Fulsby Lock Fulsby Public Bridleway
12 Footbridge at St Mary's Church Kirkby on Bain Concrete Beam Public Footpath Footbridge over disused Horncastle canal - geograph.org.uk - 820675.jpg
13 Footbridge in Kirkby on Bain Kirkby on Bain Private access
14 Bridge at Kirkby Water Mill Kirkby on Bain Public Footpath. Rebuilt after 2007 floods.
15 Red Mill Bridge Kirkby on Bain/Haltham Brick Arch Carries Rime's Lane.
16 Footbridge at Haltham Lock Haltham Concrete Beam Public Footpath Haltham Lock - geograph.org.uk - 1422563.jpg
17 Footbridge at Roughton Roughton Public Footpath
18 Bridge at Roughton Lock Roughton Private access
19 Bridge at Dalderby Lock Dalderby Concrete Beam Public Bridleway
20 Fifty Acre Bridge Thornton/Horncastle Carries the Fifty Acre Road. Rebuilt December 2015.
21 Footbridge at Horncastle Swimming Pool Horncastle Concrete Beam Public Footpath
22 A158/Jubilee Way Road Bridge Horncastle
23 Bridge Street Horncastle The River Bain, Bridge Street, Horncastle - geograph.org.uk - 561100.jpg
24 Bridge at Tesco Horncastle Concrete Beam Public access. River Bain bridge - geograph.org.uk - 381954.jpg
25 Thimbleby Mill Bridge Horncastle Public Footpath. Part of Thimbleby Mill infrastructure
26 Thimbleby Mill Footbridge Horncastle Public Footpath
27 Sherman's Wath Bridge West Ashby Carries Sherman's Wath (Road)
28 Bridge at Ashby Park West Ashby Private access
29 Bridge at Horncastle Golf and Country Club West Ashby Private access
30 Bridge at Horncastle Golf and Country Club Hemingby Private access
31 Hemingby Bridge at Upper Bain Weir Hemingby Concrete Beam Carries public highway
32 Bridge at Watermill Farm Baumber Private access
33 Market Bridge Great Sturton Concrete Beam Restricted Byway. Crossing of the Bain by the Lincoln to Skegness Roman Road at this location. Market Bridge on the River Bain - geograph.org.uk - 44374.jpg
34 Bridge at Square Plantation Ranby Private access
35 Bridge at Ranby Ranby Private access
36 Bridge at Willow Holt Goulceby Private access
37 Top Lane Bridge Goulceby Public highway

This list is incomplete.


  1. ^ a b c d Lincolnshire Wolds South:Horncastle & Woodhall Spa (Map) (A1 ed.). 1:25000. Explorer. Ordnance Survey. p. 273. ISBN 9780319238219.
    Boston:Tattershall, Billinghay & Heckington (Map) (A1 ed.). 1:25000. Explorer. Ordnance Survey. p. 261. ISBN 9780319238172.
  2. ^ "Mapping the River Bain". River Bain Projects. Salmon & Trout Association (Lincolnshire branch). Retrieved 26 October 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b c d J. N. Clarke, (1990), The Horncastle and Tattershall Canal, Oakwood Press, ISBN 0-85361-398-2
  4. ^ Martin James, (2001), A Big Bream from a Little River, retrieved 22 November 2008
  5. ^ "Signal crayfish". River Bain Projects. Salmon & Trout Association (Lincolnshire branch). Retrieved 26 October 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Witham Catchment" (PDF). Environment agency. Retrieved 26 October 2013. signal crayfish are present in the River Bain , increasing the amount of fine sediment in rivers CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ a b Windrum, Andrew. "Lincolnshire Wolds" (PDF). Natural area concept Profiles. Natural England. Retrieved 26 October 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Horncastle News, (23 July 2007), Floods return to Horncastle