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23 September 2014

Kingspool (King’s Poole fishpond)

Grid Ref SO593129



We did visit Kingspool in September, 2006 - 8 year's ago - see here. On that occasion we also cleared right round the pond and we thought it used to be used as a watering hole but we now think it could have been excavated to provide clay for the nearby road (but we are not sure of this!). However, the pond is considered to be one of the oldest in the Forest of Dean.

One of our members did a bit of research into this pool and found the following in Cinderford library (also see News 2014 for a summary):-

' The King's Pool SO59331287 south of Edge End is referred to in 1282 and in the 1608 map.  As the site is flat, lying over clay, it is assumed the pool was purposefully dug manually before 1282 in order to collect and retain rainwater to sustain deer, boars etc and to refresh the horses of the King's authorised huntsmen.  To the south of the pool now lies Perch Lodge ('Perch' or 'Persh' at the time was usually recorded as 'The King's Perch' - probably where his authorised huntsmen met or gathered together for the hunt)  The ancient path 'Bicknoresti' running between Coleford and English Bicknor passes the pool on the east side.'

There was a little map with the article, which showed that the ancient path Bicknoresti is in fact that track beside the pool - so both the pool and the track date to before 1282!!

The state of this site since we were last here shows what will happen over a relatively short timespan if sites are not maintained. There was less willow than last time but a lot more birch, bramble and water lilies. The middle of the pond is covered in spagnum moss and grasses.





< On the left facing north

This is at the start of the day and the pond can barely be seen.

On the right facing north >

After clearance, it is still difficult to recognise this as a pond as the grasses and spagnum fill the water space. The pond is there though!

The depth of the pond is difficult to guage but it sank to over 4 feet around the edges.





These team members are actually in the middle of the pond and are tied by rope in case they sink down. They are removing the birch which has self seeded on the spagnum moss.





< On the left facing south

A very small uncovered water site within the pond can be seen but the surrounding bushes are crowding it out.

On the right facing south >

After clearance, the view across the pond becomes clearer.

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