Village Ponds

What survives today
Topic 3: Village Ponds

Village and field ponds are features of the medieval landscape that have often disappeared from modern settlements. However, they can still be found as clues to the medieval layout of the settlement, or they can be located on older editions of the OS maps of the village.

Aerial view of Wootton in North Lincolnshire, the village pond is on the east side of the village.

1886 OS map of Wootton showing that the pond has at least some antiquity.

1886 map overlaid over the present day aerial view

Fish ponds provided a valuable supply of dietary protein for those who could afford to build and maintain them. As such they are often associated with manors, granges and monasteries.

More shallow ponds for feeding livestock were also of great importance to the medieval economy and these would be found close to the green, or on common land where livestock was grazing. It is worth noting that medieval ponds in Lincolnshire have not yet been subject to any systematic study, and would present an interesting little case study, particularly as this particular resource was severely reduced in the 1950s and 60s.