River Holford

The River Holford is located in the east Quantocks hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Somerset.

It is approximately 4.5 miles (7 km) long. The source of the River Holford are headstreams that rise on Frog Hill and flow north east through Frog Combe to join headwaters created by Lady’s Fountain Springs on Robin Upright’s Hill that flow north west through Lady’s Combe. The combined waters flow northerly through Butterfly Wood in Holford Combe, passing Lower Hare Knap and Combe House Hotel, once the site of a tannery. The journey continues to Holford, passing the ruined site of a silk mill, to meet waters from Hodder’s Combe at Mare’s Pool.

The Hodder’s Combe waters are formed by head streams that flow through Sheppard’s Combe and slaughterhouse Combe that rise on Black Ball Hill and head streams that rise on Stert Head and flow through Stert Combe and Somerton Combe.

The elevation of the headwaters are between the range of 280 – 300 metres.

At Mare’s Pool the River Holford, now at it’s full strength, flows in a northerly direction through Holford Glen, passing Oyle’s Wood and Withing Wood and on to Kilve. Flowing beneath the A39 the river passes through Kilve to arrive at the Kilve Pill and Bridgwater Bay.


The geology of the river consists of three different rock types at the top of the river there is the Devonian Quartzite(Metamorphic), in the middle of the river there is the Permo-Triassic Marl(Sedimentary) and the lower part of the river consists of Jurassic Limestone(Sedimentary). The first two rock types are impermeable meaning there is little drainage for the river but the river depth becomes smaller as the water flows of the permeable limstone which will allow water to pass through. Quartzite is also very resistant to chemical weathering and can form ridges.


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