River Moselle (London)

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The River Moselle visible above ground on its way through Tottenham Cemetery. This now-modest stream once posed a significant flooding threat to the area. (November 2005)

The River Moselle, also referred to as Moselle Brook, is in North London and flows through Tottenham towards the Lea Valley. The river was originally a tributary of the River Lea, but it now flows into Pymmes Brook, another Lea tributary.


The name derives from 'Mosse-Hill' in Hornsey, the high ground containing one of the river's sources, and bears no direct etymological relationship to the major continental Moselle River.[1] The hill area also gave its name to the district of Muswell Hill and for a time the river was known as the Moswell.[2]

It flows north-eastward to Lordship Recreation Ground, then to High Road by the junction with White Hart Lane, then along High Road to a point near Scotland Green, and then flows eastward to the River Lea.[2]

The Moselle has quite a modest flow in modern times, but it once posed a serious flooding threat to Tottenham. Until the 19th century, the whole of the river remained above ground, but in 1836 the stretch around Tottenham High Road and White Hart Lane was covered over. More major culverting occurred in 1906 and subsequent years, so that now the river is completely enclosed from Tottenham Cemetery to the point at which it runs into Pymme's Brook.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Moselle has a number of sources on the high ground from Muswell Hill to Highgate - Albert Pinching & David Bell, Haringey's Hidden Streams Revealed, 2005
  2. ^ a b Baggs, A P; Bolton, Diane K; Scarff, Eileen P; Tyack, G C (1976). "'Tottenham: Introduction', in A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5, Hendon, Kingsbury, Great Stanmore, Little Stanmore, Edmonton Enfield, Monken Hadley, South Mimms, Tottenham, ed. T F T Baker and R B Pugh". London: British History Online. pp. 307–309. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Forget France - London Has Its Own River Moselle". The Londonist. 6 July 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2020.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°36′16″N 0°04′25″W / 51.6045°N 0.0736°W / 51.6045; -0.0736