Rea Brook

Not to be confused with River Rea, Shropshire.
Rea Brook
Meole Brook
Rea Brook near Malehurst
Country England
Counties Shropshire
 - left Weston Brook, Worthen Brook,
Workhouse Brook, Aston Brook,
Asterley Brook
 - right Minsterley Brook, Clan Brook,
Pontesford Brook, Sutton Spa
Source Marton Pool
 - coordinates 52°37′59″N 2°56′38″W / 52.633°N 2.944°W / 52.633; -2.944
Mouth Confluence with River Severn
 - location Shrewsbury, Shropshire
 - coordinates 52°42′21″N 2°44′48″W / 52.7058°N 2.7468°W / 52.7058; -2.7468Coordinates: 52°42′21″N 2°44′48″W / 52.7058°N 2.7468°W / 52.7058; -2.7468
Length 40 km (25 mi)

The name Rea Brook can refer to either of two brooks (a local term for a small river) in Shropshire, England.

One of the brooks, which eventually becomes the River Rea, is in southern Shropshire. It is to the east of Brown Clee Hill.[1]

The other is a minor river that begins at Marton Pool,[2] near the Wales-England border. This runs north-east for 40 kilometres (25 mi)[3] past the villages of Minsterley, Pontesbury, Hanwood and Bayston Hill to Shrewsbury, where it joins the much larger River Severn, after running for approximately 20 miles. It is noted in the county for its wildlife, such as otters and kingfishers. Previously in history, it was known as the "Meole Brook",[4] and gives its name to two villages near Shrewsbury Meole Brace and Cruckmeole.[5]

Rea Brook has changed dramatically since the start of the 21st century with a downturn in the recorded numbers of Coarse fish. The Environment agency put tis down to the brook changing from a high capacity watercourse into a fast flowing one. It has been noted that the brook is still plentiful with salmonid type fish.

When the brook reaches Shrewsbury it flows through a local a nature reserve designated in 1994 as the Reabrook Valley Country Park.[6][note 1] The valley is noted for its wildlife,[7] specifically otters and orchids that are rare in that part of Shropshire. In its final reaches it curves westwards to its mouth into the River Severn just off Coleham Head in the town. The brook was subjected to extensive flooding in 2000, 2007 and 2010.[8] After the flooding in 2000, it was suggested that a tunnel and culvert be created to divert water away from Rea Brook eastwards where it would enter the River Severn a point further downstream and out of the environs of Shrewsbury. As this cost of this work would use up all the money put aside for flood defences in the town, it was discounted.[9] The 2007 flooding destroyed a bridge which was rebuilt in 2008 with additional archaeological excavations on the leat that ran alongside the Rea Brook in the valley at Shrewsbury. The leat (or mill race) had existed since the mediaeval period and was disused at the time of the flooding and the bridge repairs necessitated diverting the Rea Brook onto the former leat.[10]

The pronunciation of "Rea" varies between /ˈr/ "Ree" and /ˈr/ "Ray". The pronunciation most used by locals for the Shrewsbury river is "Ree"; the "Ray" pronunciation may have been introduced by incomers from Birmingham, where a different River Rea is pronounced that way.


  1. The brook is spelt two ways; Rea Brook and Reabrook. The former is how it is written by Natural England and also how it is annotated on OS Mapping. The latter spelling is from Shropshire Council's own webpage about Rea Brook Valley


  1. 52°28′30″N 2°34′41″W / 52.475°N 2.578°W
  2. "Catchment Data Explorer - Rea Brook Summary". Environment Agency. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  3. "Advisory Visit - Rea Brook" (PDF). Wild Trout Trust. November 2015. p. 2. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  4. Ayto, John; Crofton, Ian (2005). Brewer's Britain & Ireland. London: Weidenfield & Nicholson. p. 322. ISBN 0 304 35385 X.
  5. Ekwall, Eilert (1966). The concise Oxford dictionary of English place-names. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 322. OCLC 400936.
  6. "Rea Brook Valley". Natural England. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  7. "Shropshire Biodiversity Action Plan" (PDF). Natural Shropshire. p. 161. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  8. "Flooded baby otter recovering well after Rea Brook rescue". BBC News. 5 January 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  9. "Shrewsbury Flood Defences" (PDF). Environment Environment Agency. p. 3. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  10. "The Mill Race, Sutton, Shrewsbury" (PDF). Archaeological Data Services. May 2008. p. 2. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
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