Entrance to the delightful Levington Creek in the River Orwell, Suffolk, lies on the northern bank of Long Reach 4 miles or so upriver from Harwich Harbour and the open coast of the North Sea.
At just under half a mile in overall length it has a mouth of approximately 250' wide which quickly narrows to half that as you meander in a north-westerly direction to follow its broad and subtly snaking contour.
Navigation charts indicate a depth of 2.5 to 3.5 meters above Chart Datum but in all practicality I find it has a small gut of around 5' deep (1.5m) on a high water neap tide which can be picked out with a sounding cane, with shallower margins abutted by mud and saltmarsh and, unlike much of the river, low, grassy seawalls. At high water the creek resembles a mill pond and the holding is as secure as a new baby is snug in a cradle after a bottle of warm milk: ie a sound sleep on good old soft mud is the order of the day.
|The head of Levington Creek resembles a mill pond and is typical of many creeks I visit|
|View of St Peters at night|
Just outside the village, to the west, is Broke Hall, once the home of Rear Admiral Phillip Bowes Vere Broke who commanded the celebrated HMS Shannon in the US-GB war of 1812. And, like many other creeks on this coast, there are one or two worn wooden stumps - likely remains from the days of sail when barges would have typically poked and pulled a way to a small rural farm wharf, like the one near the head of this type of creek, and collect corn and other farm produce to be taken to places like Ipswich six miles upriver or down the coast to London or, on return journeys, deliver horse muck from the city’s streets for use as fertilizer on the surrounding farm fields. Here at Levington it’s possible barges carried another cargo as well for during the early 18th century a local farmer was the first person to dig up coprolite from crag ground and found if spread on poor land the phosphate mineral acted as a kind of super fertilizer thus word spread and many fortunes were made when it became a sort after bulk material near and far.
|The beauty of Suffolk Sea-Country; all yours for the taking|