River Eden, Kent

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The Eden at Chiddinstone Mill

The River Eden in western Kent is a tributary of the River Medway. It flows through the Weald of Kent from the border with Surrey.

The Eden has its source in Titsey parish, Surrey (TQ160420160551, just north of Clacket Lane motorway services on the M25 motorway and flowing eastward through the Wealden clay to join the River Medway near Penshurst, Kent, (TQ160537160434). The section from its source to where the Gibbs Brook joins it is also known as the Broadmead Water.[1] Its name is a back formation deriving from Edenbridge, the main town through which it flows, and which was originally called in the Old English language "Eadhelmsbrigge" ("Eadhelm's Bridge").

The mouth of the Eden at the River Medway

Water quality

According to the Environmental Change Network, water quality in the Eden is mainly classified as General Quality Assessment (GQA) Class C, although the headwaters near Oxted are Class D. The river receives treated sewage effluent from two Southern Water Services Limited Sewage Treatment Works (STW), serving Edenbridge and Oxted respectively; the stretches receiving these effluents are both subject to EC Urban Water Treatment "Sensitive Waters" investigations. There are other much smaller private sewage treatment works throughout the catchment. The river and its tributaries support coarse fisheries. Average flows at Penshurst range from 3.909 m³/s in January to 0.485 m³/s in July. Water to fill Bough Beech Reservoir is pumped from a point just upstream of Penshurst.


The River Eden powered a number of watermills. From source to the Medway they were:

  • Titsey Mill: An old manorial mill. A Roman Villa at Titsey was converted into a fulling mill.[1][2]
  • Limpsfield Mill TQ404534: A pre-conquest mill site.
  • Tidy Green Mill, Limpsfield: A mill site mentioned in the Domesday Book, when the mill was valued at 2s. This mill may take its name from the Tydye/Tidy family. This mill was demolished in 1892.[1][3]
  • Upper Mill, Oxted TQ386523: This mill was demolished in the late 18th century;[1] by 1817 the site of the millpond was used for cottages.[4]
  • Middle Mill, Oxted TQ390513: A surviving mill building, now just "Oxted Mill",[4] which has been converted into offices. It dates from 1892-5, although on a site in use from much earlier.
Coltsford Mill
  • Coltsford (Cottsford) Mill, Oxted TQ397506: A Domesday site. This mill retains its machinery, which dates from c.1860 and is all cast iron. The mill is used as a corporate event centre, and there is a trout fishery nearby. The cast iron waterwheel still turns.[1][5]
Haxted Mill
  • Haxted Mill, Edenbridge TQ418455: In Surrey, close to the border with Kent. It is a Domesday site and the mill was mentioned in the will of Sir Reginald de Cobham in 1361. The western half of the building dates to c.1580 and the eastern half dates to 1794. The mill was last used to grind flour in 1919 but worked until 1945. It was turned into a museum in 1969 but is now a brasserie and bar.[1][6][7]
Honour's Mill
  • Town (Honour's) Mill, Edenbridge: In 1291 a water powered pump was at work here, draining the marshland between Lingfield and Edenbridge. The present corn mill building dates to the early 19th century, but incorporates parts of an older structure. The cast iron low breastshot waterwheel drove three pairs of stones. The mill last ground by water sometime before the First World War, and was working by electricity into the 1970s. The waterwheel was used to work ancillary machinery until 1968, when the cast iron pit wheel was broken in the floods of that year.[1][8]
  • Hever Castle Mill: Once a corn mill at Hever Castle.[9]
Chiddingstone Mill, now a house
  • Chiddingstone (Cranstead) Mill TQ496461: Possibly a Domesday site. In the 18th century the millers were the Keeys family, Richard c.1740, followed by his son Richard. The mill was last worked in the 1930s, was a derelict shell for many years and hasd now been converted into a house.
  • Vexour Park Mill TQ511454: A weir in Vexour Park marks the site of a long vanished watermill.


Its main tributaries are the Gibbs Brook, Eden Vale Stream, and the Eden Brook, which has the Felbridge Water as a tributary. The Kent Brook, which forms the boundary between Surrey and Kent for part of its length, joins near Edenbridge.

Several mill sturned also on the Eden's tributaries.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Reid, Kenneth (1987). Watermills of the London Countryside, Vol 1. Cheddar, Somerset, UK: Charles Skilton Ltd.. pp. 127–28. ISBN 0-284-39165-4. 
  2. [1]
  3. Curious Fox
  4. 4.0 4.1 Alderton, Mary (1999). Oxted 2000 : Oxted, Hurst Green and district : a history guide for the millennium. Oxted: Oxted Council. ISBN 0-9536221-0-X. 
  5. Coltsford Mill
  6. Haxted Mill
  7. Edenbridge Town
  8. Edenbridge Town
  9. Mills Archive