History at Frensham Little Pond

Frensham Little Pond's ancient dam

Although our pond has remained largely unchanged since its formation in the 13th century, its inhabitants and uses have varied greatly.

Venture into the past

Frensham Little Pond was created in the 13th century, when the Plantagenet King Henry III was on the English throne.
The pond still looks roughly the same today but it has had many owners and uses.

How was the pond formed?

The Little Pond was formed by building an ironstone wall (you can still see some of the original stonework near the sluice gate) across a shallow valley and damming a stream entering the southern end of the pond, which came from a spring in the grounds of Silverbeck, Churt. The pond is also fed by springs which rise near the Devil’s Jumps, a series of conical shaped ironstone hills.

Who created the pond?

The Bishop of Winchester, William de Raleigh, wanted a fish supply for when he visited Farnham Castle and ordered that ponds should be created at Frensham. He instructed his bondsmen to help build a dam but all did not go smoothly.

Did you know?

  • The pond was formerly known as Tancred’s Mere or, in some ancient plans, Crowfoot Pond
  • The pond covers 37 acres
  • The dam is around 80m in length
  • The dam was built of ironstone from the Farnham area
  • The dam was renovated in 2013

Owners of the pond

1246 – 1888: The See of Winchester and then the Ecclesiastical Commissioners
1888: Mr R H Combe of Pierrepont House
Second World War: Major A E Alnatt
1949 – 1974: Mr S D Atherton