Although its extent in the medieval period is not known, Melbourne Pool was certainly large by the early 17th century, as shown on a map of that time. Tradition says that stone for Melbourne Castle was quarried here before the area was flooded. A map of 1787 shows the Pool extending further to the west than it does now. It provided water to Melbourne Mill. The level of the water was raised by two feet at the beginning of the 18th century, in order to work the fountains in the Hall gardens, although this flooded part of the vicarage garden. By the early 19th century the pool was silted up completely at the west end. In the 1840s it was partly filled and the rest was cleaned out, making two ornamental islands and landscaping the surrounding area. In its current form it covers some 20 acres. (1-3)
Melbourne Pool was originally utilitarian, as it existed to serve Melbourne Mill, where milling finally ceased in 1968. It is not known when it was first created, but references to a mill pool are found in the early 14th century. It may have been a smaller pool at that time, with a lower dam. In 1701 Thomas Coke of Melbourne Hall intended to drain the pool and convert it to meadow, but was persuaded by his water engineer George Sorocold to use the water pressure to make the fountains play in his new formal gardens, made in 1704. The pool was remodelled between 1841 and 1847 to create its present form. (4)
Bibliographic reference: Heath, P. 2000. Melbourne Hall.
Unpublished document: Stroud, G. 2002. Extensive Urban Survey: Melbourne. Archaeological Assessment Report. p 18, Component 10.
Bibliographic reference: Heath, P. 2006. 'National Archaeology Days: a new look at Melbourne Pool', South Derbyshire Heritage News. Issue 23 (Autumn), p 2.
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Centred SK 38806 24781 (644m by 323m)
MELBOURNE, SOUTH DERBYSHIRE, DERBYSHIRE
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Dec 6 2022 1:27PM
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