Thornbury Present

Medieval Fishponds.

The Medieval Fishponds at Park Farm are shown on a Map of 1716 but are much older than this. It is likely that they were built in the Mid 13th Century at about the time that Thornbury was Granted a Charter and Marlwood and Eastwood Deer Parks were formed. Evidently the Manor of Thornbury was being considered as a home rather than simply an agricultural holding. The ponds themselves give no clue to their age.

The banks of the ponds are at the same level as the surrounding ground so the soil excavated was dumped elsewhere, probably on the otherside of the millstream. The ponds are contructed around a number of natural springs in an area where the clay provides a natural lining.

In use the ponds would have held fish such as `Carp` and `Tench`. There are no plans to restock them as there is a considerable depth of silt. This comes from the decay of leaves from the trees which have grown up on the banks, which would have orginally been clear, since the ponds were abandoned perhaps 300 - 400 years ago. Some of the existing trees may be over 200.years old.

It is not clear what method of water level control was used in the ponds, probably hollow wooden pipes through the banks. To control water levels, dams have been built in the orginal locations on five of the ponds.



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