Floods in Malmesbury - Monday 30th October 2000

Heavy rain upstream of the town brought flooding to Malmesbury, with the Avon and Ingleburn rivers both bursting their banks in several places in the early hours of Monday morning. The main damage was caused in St John Street where a number of houses were flooded, and in the Park Road area. Several roads were under water also in other areas of the town, including Holloway and the Swindon Road where they cross the river. In addition, Kingway Bridge on the A429 south of Corston was impassable, and the main road was closed for two days.

The Avon in flood
The Avon in flood on October 30th 2000

By mid-day the situation had eased. None of the main roads were flooded, though at Holloway, the water was only a few inches below road level. St. Aldhelm's Mead, was waterlogged, and Daniel's Well and the gardens of the houses backing onto the river in that area were largely under water.

In other parts of the town, Park Road seemed to be under water for most of its length, and the area behind Somerfield's including the football ground was completely flooded. Baskerville was still under water, though St. John Street was now open.

The Ingleburn in flood
The river in flood at the lower end of The Abbey House Gardens.

By Tuesday morning there was a significant improvement. The river seemed in most places to be within its normal confines, apart from around Daniel's Well where the definition of the bank is imprecise at the best of times. Most places seemed accessible, and dogs were being exercised in areas that were totally submerged on Monday. The Vics' ground at the rear of Somerfields was still under water, and in St. Aldhelm's Mead wellington boots were desirable.

By Friday, the situation had continued to improve, but there was still heavy rain forecast, so the town waited to see what further excitement the river could bring. In the event the river burst its banks in the areas regularly prone to flooding such as Daniel's Well and Park Road, but little further damage was done. The Vics' ground remained under water for several days, and St. Aldhelm's Mead took some time to dry out, but the worst appeared to be over.

Concern had been expressed about the low level of the flow of the Avon. It will be interesting to see the long term effects of the heavy rain on this subject.

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