The uses and functions of ponds within early landscapes in the East Midlands are addressed by a new paper.
Ponds are a neglected historic feature of the landscape. They vary in their dates of construction, many being related to the open fields of the pre-enclosure period where they formed an integral part of the farming system. Accounts of early enclosures also record their construction. Ponds provided water for livestock and draft animals, they linked with drainage systems and they also had miscellaneous functions such as being used for retting cloth and providing manure from pond cleaning.
The present paper draws on both the field evidence of surviving ponds but also map and documentary materials to review the numbers, uses and origins of ponds in 26 parishes on the Cambridgeshire-Northamptonshire border.