River Kennett

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River Kennett
River Kennett at Dalham - geograph.org.uk - 42924.jpg
River Kennett at Dalham, dry in August, 2005
Country England
County Suffolk
 - location near Dalham, Suffolk, East Anglia, England
 - elevation 108 m (354 ft)
 - coordinates 52°13′12″N 0°30′35″W / 52.22000°N 0.50972°W / 52.22000; -0.50972
Mouth Lee Brook
 - location near Freckenham, Suffolk, England
 - elevation 0 m (0 ft)
 - coordinates 52°19′0.12″N 0°25′58.8″E / 52.3167000°N 0.433000°E / 52.3167000; 0.433000Coordinates: 52°19′0.12″N 0°25′58.8″E / 52.3167000°N 0.433000°E / 52.3167000; 0.433000
Length 28 km (17 mi)
Location within Suffolk

The River Kennett is a river that runs through Suffolk and Cambridgeshire in eastern England.


The River Kennett rises in the hills just west of Cowlinge Hall in western Suffolk at an altitude of around 108m above sea level. It flows north-east to the village of Cowlinge before turning west for around a mile, crossing the county border into Cambridgeshire in the parish of Kirtling. After only a couple of miles in Cambridgeshire it crosses back into Suffolk just north of Lidgate and flows north through Dalham and Moulton. At Kentford it forms the Suffolk-Cambridgeshire border for around a mile followed by a mile in Cambridgeshire just north of the village of Kennett, after which it again forms the county border for around three miles as it runs past Red Lodge.

As it reaches Freckenham, it joins Lee Brook, a tributary of the River Lark, just south of Freckenham, at an altitude of around 10m.[1] The river is generally dry in the summertime.


The villages of Kentford and Kennett both derive their names from the river. The name of the river is Celtic in origin, and its meaning is unknown.[2]

The exact course of the river has changed many times over the centuries. Some evidence of this can be inferred from its deviations from the Kennett parish boundary.[3]

At Moulton the river passes under a Grade-II*-listed 15th-century packhorse bridge. This bridge has four arches, indicating that the river was larger when the bridge was constructed.[4]


  1. ^ Jones, Bob (6 March 2009). "River Kennett at Badlingham". Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved 2012-11-09. The River Kennett becomes Lee Brook at Freckenham, and joins the River Lark near West Row. 
  2. ^ A. D. Mills. A Dictionary of British Place Names. Oxford University Press. 
  3. ^ "Kentford history". 
  4. ^ "History and Research Moulton Packhorse Bridge". English Heritage. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
River Kennett at Badlingham, near Chippenham, Cambridgeshire 
A stone bridge beside a road junction, with cottages behind
The 15th-century Moulton Packhorse Bridge