In his Geography (2AD), Ptolemy refers to the estuary of the Ribble as Belisama Aest. Here we find the name of the goddess of the Ribble, Reigh Belisama. Her name is Gallo-Brythonic and means ‘Most Shining Queen’ or ‘Most Mighty Queen’. Many complex and convoluted theories have been put forward to explain how the Ribble got its name. My answer is that Reigh Belisama simply got shortened to Ri-bel.
Belisama’s river and its tributaries shape my landscape, carving its valleys, providing nurturing water to its inhabitants. The Ribble is tidal at Penwortham. At low tides we see Belisama’s shining nature; sparkling waters, glinting fay-lights. At high tides we experience her might. This was no more apparent than last year, when the Ribble burst its banks and flooded Avenham Park.