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Wootton Bridge millpond

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The millpond from Firestone Copse, by R P Lloyd, 1913
The millpond from Firestone Copse, by R P Lloyd, 1913
Wootton Bridge millpond was at Wootton Bridge on the Isle of Wight Estates.

Description, 1793[1]

The Pond, as it is called, though it may at high water, well deserve the appellation of a Lake, runs something more than a mile from Wootton Bridge, by a serpentine course, up into the country. The mouth of the creek on the shore, is about the same distance from below the bridge.

My curiosity induced me to explore the farthest recess of this broad and extensive piece of water, and I hired, at the bridge, a small flat-bottomed boat for the occasion. At my first embarking, the sloping declivities on each fide, and, particularly, on the lawn which descends from Mr. Orde’s house, abound with several natural groups of trees. A smaller creek of water winding round a jutting point of this lawn, losing itself in a little coppice, adds much to the beauty of this· scene. About half a mile higher, the banks of the water begin to be contracted into a width of about 150 feet, and continue of that breadth, till it receives a brook which rises in Combley wood, and occasionally descends in a rapid torrent, under Black Bridge, near Haven Street, and not more than a quarter of a mile from the uppermost part of the pool.

The whole of this contracted channel wears a solemn gloom; and its winding course quickly conveyed me into a region of the thickest shade, where antique and decayed oaks exposed their half naked roots from both its banks, while their low arid spreading branches impended over and darkened the water beneath them. The gentle acclivities, also, on all sides are covered with coppices and woods, as far as the eye could reach from the boat. It will be proper to observe, that this little voyage can only be undertaken while the pool is full, as even then, the water is very shallow; but when the water is expended by the working of the mill, the current exhibits only a sorry brook, meandering through a broad expanse of oozy and offensive mud.

The reader may form an idea of the un-common shallowness of this water, when he is informed, that, though it covers the space of one hundred acres, it is all consumed in the space of five hours, by the operations of a single mill. The banks of the creek below the bridge, and even of its mouth, are partially covered with coppices and timber.


  1. Henry Penruddocke Wyndham, A Picture of the Isle of Wight: Delineated Upon the Spot, in the Year 1793‎ (1794)
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