River Lea Gallery




The river Lea runs through the heart of Lemsford village. Maps in the Lemsford Local History group show the river in 1100 called the Ligean, in 1200 the luye, 1400 the leye, 1500 the  Ley  and 1600 the name we know today the Lea. The achieves also show it was a working river as far back as 1277 with fishing rights and a working Mill.

“The free fishery of the Bishop in the river extended in 1277 from Hatfield Mills to the Bridge of Stanberue(Stanborough), and from there to the mill of Simon Fitz Adam (Lemsford Mill) where the latter had joint rights of fishery with the Bishop.” The free fishery means that the sole and exclusive right of fishing was held by the Bishop, in 1538 the same fishery rights and extent existed.

The River Lea rises from the chalk beds in Leagrave Marsh Common below the Chiltern Hills, northwest of Luton. Here the river starts its 83-kilometre (51.5-mile) journey, meandering through the Lea Valley, via Lemsford, to Bow in the East End of London where it joins the River Thames opposite the Millennium Dome. It traverses Luton, partly underground, then sweeps to the southeast through Harpenden, Wheathampstead and on into the lake on the Brocket Estate before gushing through Lemsford.

From Lemsford the Lea flows into the Lemsford Springs Nature Reserve, then through Stanborough Lakes to Hatfield and on to Hertford where it is joined by the Mimram, Rib, Ash and Beane rivers.

In 2002 the village residents set up the ‘ The Riverbank Task Force’ the Lemsford News records the event with the meeting described as The Riverbank task groupv was formed in 2002 and recorded their intention in issue 1 of the Lemsford news with the article that started with ‘Twas a dark and stormy night when a band of local volunteers began to address the beleaguered state of our river’

Instead of talking they took up the challenge and from that year to this a hard  working group of residents volunteered their time to clean up the riverbank twice a year Spring and Autumn.


Hope you enjoy browsing through our gallery of images. Please remember all photographs, images, PDFs and text used on this website are for the enjoyment of Lemsford residents, their families, friends and visitors. All photographs and material used on this site MAY NOT be copied, in whole or in part, or be duplicated to another computer, transmitted, published, reproduced, printed, hotlinked, etc. without the express written permission of a member of the Lemsford Editorial Team.

Whilst every care is taken to ensure that we have permission to use all the images displayed on our website, it is possible that the person who has given us permission to display an image is not actually the owner of the copyright or despite every effort being made we have not been able to trace the original owner. If you identify an image we have used for which you or your company holds the copyright (and we have not obtained permission from you) please contact us immediately and we will investigate the matter forthwith and if necessary remove the image in question.