Sunday, 20 January 2008

Loose Stream

In the middle of Kent, just south of Maidstone, there is a little bit of magic.

The village of Loose has grew up along a stream, using the water to power mills of various kinds, and growing watercress.

Pronounced 'lose' as in lost, not 'loose' as in not tight, it is said to be named because the stream constantly loses itself under the ground. This may or may not be true, but I give little credence to another derivation - that the plant Loosestrife is named after an argument between a local landowner and some children who were picking the flowers in his garden.

I visited the village on a dull rainy day, hoping to find a Water Rail - I've seen them here before, but today there was only a Grey Wagtail on the cress, and a few Mallards sitting on the water.

The Wool House is a fascinating old place, once used as a processing centre for fleeces which were teased with teasles and washed in the streams that run in front of it and through its garden. The spring that appears across the road has a sign saying 'Not drinking water' - it never did me any harm as I frequently refreshed myself with its water when I was young.


Simon said...

Nice post about Loose Adam. I've been told about the Water Rail along that part of the stream but each time I've gone down there it hasn't shown!

Simon said...

Sorry Steve. Just realised I had typed in Adam and not you, Steve.