River Loddon (muddy river)


River Loddon from Rocque's map of Berkshire, 1761

The River Loddon, or 'muddy river', to the west of Hurst parish, formed a natural boundary between Hurst and Sonning parishes. On his map of Windsor Forest made in 1609, Nordon defines the river as the forest's western boundary.

The river was joined by Broadwater just below Twyford, and supplied power to Twyford Mill. It then divided into numerous streams before emptying into the Thames near Sonning.

Whistley mill, represented on the map by two black squares, was mentioned in the Domesday survey. On later maps, Whistley Mill Farm is shown occupying  a site on the Loddon just to the north of Whistley Bridge in Lands End Lane. Now the site has been destroyed by gravel workings.

Below the mill lay Whistley Court Mansion, marked on Rocque's map as Hurst Park. This is the most historic site in the area, being created into a manor as early as 968 AD, and has also been destroyed by gravel workings. The wood, where the Loddon Lily grows, was saved.

Sandford Mill, believed to be one of the two mentioned in the Domesday entry at Sonning, occupied a site on the western bank where it is crossed by Sandford Lane. The mill has been converted in to private housing.

The Emmbrook passed through Merry Hill and is shown on the map as joining the Loddon almost opposite Coalman's Moor.



Further south the Loddon passed under Loddon Bridge.

Sindlesham Mill, which belonged to the Simmonds family earlier last century, is now a restaurant and hotel.

References in main text:

         I   Early Forest (7)
       III   The Bounds (7)
       V   The Manors (1)
    VIII   War and Poverty (3)
      IX   Great Houses (3)
      XI   Commuting (5)
     XII   Commerce (5)
    XIII   New Farmland (1)