River Lyvennet

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The Lyvennet

The Lyvennet is a small but historically fascinating river flowing through the green heart of Westmorland.

The river rises in on Crosby Ravensworth Fell, amongst the Lakeland fells of Westmorland and tumbles down the dale as the Lyvennet Beck. Its source is to be found close to Robin Hood's Grave on Crosby Ravensworth Moor, an area rich in ancient remains. From there, the beck flows northwards through Crosby Ravensworth, Mauld's Meaburn and King's Meaburn, emerging as the River Lyvennet.

The Lyvennet enters the broad Eden Valley and runs parallel with the River Eden. It swallows the River Leith shortly before the Lyvennet gives its own waters up into the River Eden near Temple Sowerby.

Several Pedigree cattle herds are named after the river including Lyvennet Simmentals of Greystone House, King's Meaburn.


The timeless lanscape of the Lyvennet Beck

The Lyvennet has an ancient name. It appears to preserve a name found in the poems of Taliesin, who wrote in praise of King Urien of Rheged in the late sixth century. Taliesin sings of Urien's court of "Llwyfenydd" [1] and would thus be associated with the post-Roman British kingdom of Rheged. The meaning of the Welsh word "llwyfen" is the elm tree, though it may also reflect "mynydd" ("mountain").

At the head of the beck are found ancient burial mounds. These are believed to be older even than the Hen Ogledd ("the Ancient North") in which Urien ruled. However they are of such age that none can tell.


Footbridge over the Lyvennet
  1. Hogg. A. H. A. (1946) 'Llwyfenydd', Antiquity, (80), pp. 210–11