Summer Walk 2019: Sunday 4th August

Chaldon Church from the Pond 1926
Chaldon Church from the Pond 1926

Following our Water theme:

PONDS IN CHALDON

Over twenty of us had a wonderful walk, through fields and woods, on footpaths and quiet roads, round the village to find the sites of most of the 25 ponds that existed in Chaldon 150 years ago (on a map from 1868).

On the way there was a real sense of history and place, with fields and meadows, a wealth of wild flowers, butterflies, spectacular views, and evidence of life in the past.

Some sites had no signs at all that a pond had ever been there. Others were dry because it was summer and dry weather, but are known to have water in at other times of year. We saw farm ponds, the roadside pond in Rook Lane for those journeying through the village, the pond hidden in a deep quarried dip south of Tollsworth, and where a pond had been next to an isolated cottage or small house on the North Down’s Way (opposite the trig. point). The only signs of either cottage or pond now being pieces of pottery, china, glass and quarry tiles from a floor, found in the soil in the edge of the field. We peeped through bushes and peered down holes to see any sign The ‘real’ water filled ponds were found on Spring Bottom Lane, where the spring still provides a natural flow of clean water, once the water source for many in Chaldon. One member of the household had to walk down the hill, fill their buckets and carry them back up the hill on a yoke over their shoulders.

There was a lunch stop at the Harrow pub, and the walk ended with tea and cakes in the grass bowl at Chaldon Court that was once a pond.

£134 was given to the Friends of Chaldon Church from the £5 fees for the walk and the sale of teas and cakes.

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The Well Tower at Wiley Farm, Chaldon
The Well Tower and pond at Willey Farm, Chaldon, early 20th century.