The Loose Stream sometimes called the River Loose or Langley Stream is a tributary of the River Medway notable for the number of watermills that it powered in its short length. It rises in Langley, flows through Boughton Monchelsea, Loose and enters the Medway at Tovil. The river valley is deep sided, and there is much evidence of the paper and wool trades which once flourished here: the stream has been dammed in many places, resulting in many mill ponds.
Lambarde mentions thirteen fulling mills and one corn mill. Camden gives thirteen fulling mills. By c.1715 the Kentish cloth trade has declined, and Harris only mentions two fulling mills and one paper mill. Owing to the purity of the stream, paper making rose in importance in the nineteenth century.
Copyright: CC 3.0