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Awre Tidal Road
SO696075 (1*) Tidal
Sent in by Rob Gillett (07/09/2010)

'I was meandering along it the other day, and as you process along this road, there are two depth markers up to 4 or 6ft, and the notice road liable to flooding. I presume this maybe in extreme tidal conditions. Ian ?'

SO927059 (4*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by Roger Fairclough and Giles Hayhurst (03/07/2012)

'Itís on an ORPA---other route with public access---and it has vehicular rights. The stream runs into the ORPA and then flows downhill finally exiting after about 100metres. Depth in normal conditions is about 50 mm max. but will rise to 200mm in flood conditions. Base is gravel and soil.'

SP162345 (5*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by Peter D. Smith (25/10/2004)

'This is a worthy rival to that other long ford of the Cotswolds, at Duntisbourne Abbots. It lies on the aptly named Brook Lane, which descends steeply from near the southern end of Blockley's main street. On reaching the brook the lane turns abruptly right (Image 1), then coincides with the watercourse upstream for about 75 yards (Image 2) before easing gently left out of the water towards a row of cottages (Image 3). The road continues upwards as a stone track manageable by an ordinary car, and bends leftwards, ultimately to join the principal road south out of Blockley. The base of the ford, which reaches up to about a foot at its deepest point, is the pebbly bed of the stream. There is a good ramp, of stones bound with concrete, at the southern end (Image 4). Erosion of some of the tarmac at the northern end has left a shelf of nearly 3 inches to negotiate. There is a stone footbridge at the northern end, and raised footpath beside the length of the ford. There is no depth gauge. The sign at each end of the road reads 'road used as a public path', with no mention of the ford. Vehicles involved in construction work at one of the cottages to the south of the ford have recently been seen using the ford. The OS cartographers appear to have overlooked the ford, despite the fact that the local post office sells postcards depicting it!'

SP168205 (3*) Off-Roaders Only!

Set just on the edge of the main street in Bourton-on-the-Water is this long and moderately deep ford. The sign says that it is not suitable for motors, but road markings instruct the ford to be kept clear at all times perhaps indicating that the ford is used for emergency access. If you walk up the main street from the ford, there is evidence of a couple of other old fords which are now sadly no longer in use. Image mouseover credit to Bernard, Taff and Ian (02/08/2004)

Strip sent in by Will Datsun (30/01/2003):

SP204275 (2*) Suitable for All
Sent in by John Brown (18/08/2002)

'It is a pleasant little ford of about a car length, with traditional setted bottom, across a main village street alongside a pretty green and an old fashioned red phone box.'

Charlton Kings
SO966208 (3*) Suitable for All
Sent in by Andrew Brown (07/08/2002)

'It is on School Road, about one-and-a-half car lengths long, concrete-bottomed (I think). It was very shallow last night but flowing well and has a steep weir drop-off at least 150mm deep to one side. I wouldn't like to drive through if I couldn't see the actual road width!'

Duntisbourne Leer (x2!)

SO975075 (2*) Suitable for All
SO973077 (2*) Restricted Access


Duntisbourne Leer is home to perhaps the best maintained ford that I have come across. A stream with a cobbled base runs through a 'village square' where it diagonally shoots across the road to provide a brief, cobbly splashdown (Image 1).

However, Duntisbourne Leer offers far more than just this picturesque ford. A quick trip along the 'unsuitable for motors' road to Duntisbourne Abbots and you will come across a very unusual ford. This narrow but shallow ford with a rocky bottom is formed when the road becomes the river bed for about 10 car lengths. The road leading up to the ford is driveable at either side, but the ford is very narrow and does present a problem for those wishing to drive it (Images 2 & 3)

Account sent in by John Brown:
'Last Sunday, during a Vintage rally, I led a flotilla of three Trojans on a surreptitious detour to mount an amphibious assault on Duntisbourne Abbots ford. They made a stirring sight, breasting the waves in line astern. Sadly, I'd left my camera at home. My reason for this missive is to report that this ford is officially 66m long, which makes it shorter than Ide in Devon, and slightly shorter than Bilbrook, Wookey and Poleshill Somerset.

The ford has a gravel bottom with setted ramps, and for most of its length is about 6" deep. However, at the western end the stream runs down a gravel bed sloping down for about four or five yards, having risen at a spring in a field a few yards further up. As one of your photos shows, one of the householders' driveways leads out into the ford.'

Cotswolds Photo Library
Video sent in by Steve Rutherford

Duntisbourne Rouse
SO986059 (2*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by John Walton (23/12/2012)

Link to geograph

SP201053 (2*) Restricted Access
Sent in by John Brown (18/07/2003)

'There are signs that there was once a cart ford beside the old stone clapper bridge that links the twin parishes of Eastleach Martin and Eastleach Turville across the River Leach. If so, it has fallen into disuse, the ramps now overgrown. Stone steps lead down from the bridge into the crystal clear stream, perhaps to enable cottagers to draw their drinking supply. The water is about 6 inches deep, the bottom is stony but looks motorable. There may be no vehicular or equestrian right of way, though, as the paved walkway, which leads to the larger of the two churches, is just signposted as a Public Footpath.'

SO689253 (1*) Irish Bridge
Sent in by John Walton (31/12/2012)

'Even after heavy rain it's still fairly dry.'

Link to geograph

Halfpenny Hill
SO991086 (1*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by Paul Manners and Dave Pritchard (26/02/2004)

'This is on a track across the main Gloucester/ Cirencester dual carriageway from the Duntisbourne Leer exit. Driving 1/2 way along you go into a valley, the track crosses a small stream, 2 m across 10 cm deep , mud / chalk bottom'

'The image was taken after a dry spell. There was very little water there, and it didn't look to me as if there was ever likely to be very much water, except in flood conditions. Access to the ford, particularly from the south west, is only possible with a 4X4 or a trail bike - we were walking. The track from the other side appeared to be much better, but I still wouldn't fancy it in a normal car or road motorcycle.'

Hay Wood
SO689265 (2*) Suitable for All
Sent in by Graham Hardy (19/08/2005)

'On Whitehouse Lane, the back road between Gorsley and Newent on South edge of Hay Wood. Integral concrete stepping stones indicate this ford is rarely more than an inch or so deep.'

ST565788 (1*) Irish Bridge
Sent in by Martyn Hicks (07/06/2003)

'A watersplash on a busy B-Road which is normally dry in good weather as the stream runs through pipes under the road. Heavy rain causes the ford to come to life as the stream overflows across the road. Traffic then diverts over an adjacent bridge although some still attempt to drive through.'

ST723771 (2*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by John Walton (04/10/2014)

'This byway ford is found on Washpool Lane on the River Boyd beyond Ring O'Bells Farm.'

Link to geograph

Iron Acton
ST670832 (3*) Restricted Access
Sent in by Dale Wyatt (22/01/2005)

'It's on a bridleway, so technically no vehicular access. It measured 20 paced yards and was about 1.5ft deep. Gravel entry and exit with a rocky bed. Probably could drive a car through it if you were careful. ' Image mouseover sent in by Julien & Sara Wilkinson (03/02/2005)

Kineton (x4!)

SP090259 (2*) Suitable for All
SP098267 (3*) Off-Roaders Only!
SP098264 (3*) Off-Roaders Only!
SP100266 (1*) Off-Roaders Only!

Kineton is home to three very different fords. The first ford is a mile or so west of the village and is on a minor (gated) road. The ford is a shallow affair of a single car length which can be hit at speed (Image 1).

Kineton then has a couple of fords in close proximity to the village. The most northernmost is 'unsuitable for motors' but looks fine to cross (Image 2).

However, the other ford is 'suitable for motors', but I didn't fancy it in my old Saxo. To a large extent, the ford looks like a big rocky-bottomed puddle, but it is genuinely fed by the same stream as the above ford. However, a very interesting feature is the bridge which is worth a visit on its own (Images 3 & 4).

Account sent in by David Goode:
'There are actually 4 fords in Kineton. The 4th can be driven but you have to drive back through it again because it is at the start of an unmade road signed as a public path at each end and an easily driveable track at each end but in the middle is a steep slippery bank full of trees which is almost impassable even on foot - it appears someone has landscaped the road some time ago.' Image4: (30/03/2003)

Cotswolds Photo Library

SP066358 (1*) Irish Bridge
Sent in by Michael Johnson (26/08/2014)

'This dip where the road once passed beneath a railway bridge is not perhaps a true ford, but it is certainly a seriously wet road sufficiently regularly to justify a pair of 9ft depth gauges and massive road signs with dire warnings.' John Brown

'The dismantled railway bridge at Laverton in Gloucestershire has now been rebuilt. It's part of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway. Drainage under the bridge has also been improved. There are several similar bridges under the railway between Winchcombe and Broadway, and they all have water depth gauges to warn drivers if the road floods. They're well-known 'temporary fords' in the local area!'

Lower Harford
SP129225 (3*) Suitable for All
(Image 1: 11/05/2002)

This picturesque ford is located about half a mile south of Naunton and is well maintained with a decent 'cobbly' splashdown. I found the ford to be a little slippy on my visit, and I was taken aback by the depth. There was hissing and steam coming from under the car! However, rumours are afoot that this one may not be around for too much longer, but it remains well worth a visit. Image mouseover credit to Bernard, Taff and Ian (02/08/2004)

Image 2 showing the ford in flood sent in by Dave Cooper (02/01/2013)

Middle Duntisbourne
SO983065 (2*) Suitable for All

The ford at Middle Duntisbourne is formed by the same stream as the ones at Duntisbourne Leer. However, this ford for some reason is more substantial. On my visit, there was an antique tractor literally parked in the ford!

SO554055 (2*) Suitable for All
Sent in by Hiroyuki & Kumiko Kasahara (19/11/2004)

Pepper Mill
SO736342 (1*) Suitable for All
Sent in by John Brown (26/07/2002)

'This ford is on an equally narrow three-ply unmade public road off the A417, difficult to spot at that end. The northern approach is better; it is signposted Pepper Mill and signed 'Unsuitable for Motor Vehicles' but it is motorable with care in a car with reasonable ground clearance. The ford itself is the best-surfaced and easiest part of the road. The best part of the adventure is finding it.'

SP034213 (2*) Suitable for All

Sevenhampton is a shallow tarmac-based ford of around 2 car lengths. It is caused simply by the stream running along the lane to the village green for a little way.

Shipton (x2!)

SP036184 (2*) Suitable for All
SP040186 (2*) Suitable for All

Shipton plays host to a couple of simple fords. The first is located in Shipton Solers and is a short and shallow affair with a rocky base (Image 1).

Head eastwards into Shipton village and you will find a ford which isn't marked on the map. This is because of the bridge which provides an alternative route to the shallow ford with a cobbly bottom. Upstream from the ford is a picturesque pond where the stream literally spills out of a cave in the hillside (Image 2)

SP203034 (4*) Restricted Access
Sent in by Ian Bowman (03/08/2004)

'On the main road out of the village towards the A361 there is a bridge over the Leach, running parallel is a slipway I drove down the walled slipway (Image 1), turning right downstream (Image 2), the only way out seemed to be somebody's well kept garden, so it was a three point turn and out the way I came in (Image 3). There was about 9 inches of water late July, a couple of feet in the winter by the look of things' Photo credits to Bernard, Taff & Ian.

SO793148 (2*) Tidal
Sent in by David Wilson (Images 1 and 2: 05/04/2006) and Martyn Hicks (31/03/2006)

'At Stonebench in Gloucestershire there is a small lane that floods without fail at every spring and autumn high tides after the Severn Bore has passed through (Image 1). Images 2 and 3 were taken about an hour after the bore (30/03/06), said to be the highest for 9 years. The river is still 250m. away, and the road then turns to run along the riverbank where it was flooded for another 500m. Two hours previously I had cycled down this road in the dry! Flooding here occurs regularly after a big bore. When it floods it is totally impassable by cars and lorries and can trap cars that have been parked along the lane by visitors to witness the Severn Bore. The depth of water was about 3 feet according to friendly local firemen waiting to rescue a car that had got caught.'

ST887930 (2*) Suitable for All
Sent in by Dave Pritchard (26/02/2004)

'The image was taken on after a very wet spell. The ford was about one foot deep according to the depth gauge but didn't seem that deep over the road, and was about two car lengths long. The current was very rapid.'

SP105173 (2*) Suitable for All
Sent in by Peter D. Smith (24/10/2004)

'This ford lies at the foot of the old road which once connected the upper and lower parts of the village. From the south, the road is of tarmac up to the ford; beyond it is a respectable tarmac and stone track across the valley floor, but the final steep ascent is now too narrow a gully for vehicles. The ford itself has a gravel base; some erosion of the tarmac on the south has created a shelf of a few inches on one side. The water is generally about 3 inches deep, one car in length. It is equipped with a low planked footbridge. There are no road signs or depth gauge for it. It is marked on the OS Explorer map, but is not on the Landranger Series.'

Upper Slaughter
SP155233 (3*) Restricted Access

Upper Slaughter is probably the most 'well set' fords in the area, occupying a position on the village common at the bottom of a steep ascent into the village (Image 1). The ford has a concrete base and lasts for around 2-3 car lengths. However, to get to it in your vehicle means contravening various traffic laws as the ford is a 'deep ford' and 'unsuitable for motors'. It is in fact neither, and the sign has just been put there in an attempt to keep the road exclusively for local access. Although, I understand that the village is something of a honeypot to tourists and heavy traffic is undesirable to local residents, this closing of fords seems to be an increasing and selfish occurrence. After all, it is the choice of the residents where they live. You wouldn't live under Spaghetti Junction if you wanted a quiet life would you? Image mouseover credit to Bernard, Taff and Ian (02/08/2004)

Finally, for completeness. Just downstream in Lower Slaughter is this old and now inaccessible ford by the old mill (Image 2: 30/03/2003)

Yate Rocks
ST719847 (1*) Irish Bridge

A pretty Irish Bridge in this small village (Image 1). Plenty of signs, but not much splashing unless you time it right (Image 2)!

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