Category: History

  • The islands of the Heronry Pond

    The islands of the Heronry Pond have a complex history, and it may be easier to consider them separately.

  • The Heronry Pond

  • Shoulder of Mutton Pond

  • The Lake Pond

  • The Basin

  • The Holt Channel

  • The Reservoir

    The first depiction of The Reservoir is on Rocque’s 1735 Map, suggesting that it was planned alongside the other water bodies in Wanstead Park in the early 18th century. There it is depicted as being broadly rectangular in shape, with slightly curved north-eastern and south-eastern corners, and two small rectangular islands. However, all later maps […]

  • The Great Lake

    The Great Lake was a very large water body, one of those created between about 1715 and 1740 to provide vistas from Richard Child’s great new Palladian Wanstead House. It occupied almost exactly the same area as the present Lake House estate. On an island or peninsula in the lake was a banqueting house, which […]

  • The serpentine lakes

    The precise sequence of work in the construction of the serpentine lakes is not known. Cradock’s Map of 1725 is uninformative: it depicts the Ornamental Water as complete, but does not stretch far enough to the west to encompass the area of the serpentine lakes. In the absence of other information, we cannot tell whether […]

  • Overview of the lake system

    The lake system in Wanstead Park divides into two parts, each exploiting pre-existing natural features. The River Roding runs along the eastern boundary of Wanstead Park. In the early eighteenth century, its water levels were raised by weirs, and its course elaborated into a system of interlinked channels which became known as the Ornamental water. […]