The River Rat is a river in the county of Suffolk. Its source is to the south of the village of Felsham, and is the major tributary of the River Gipping. The River Rat joins the River Gipping at Pikes Meadow in Stowmarket. The town takes its name from the Old English word stōw meaning 'principal place', and was granted a market charter in 1347 by Edward III. Disaster struck Stowmarket on 11 August 1871, when an explosion at a local gun cotton factory claimed twenty-eight lives and left seventy five injured. The site of the explosion is now home to a large paint factory. Just before midday on Friday 31 January 1941, a solitary German bomber plane was spotted over Stowmarket firing its guns.The bomber strafed a large area of the town, before dropping bombs onto the high street. The Stowmarket Congregational Chapel, a gothic style building that was built in the 19th century, was completely destroyed. This camera was installed and is maintained by the Environment Agency and can be viewed here. All content is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0.