Conserving Upton's Mirror Pool

View of yellow digger working in pond

The clay lining of the pool was put in the 1930s and over the years has gradually worn away. The water has now penetrated the thin lining of clay resulting in several leaks. A site survey was undertaken last year and a full report was put forward for work to begin in the spring.

Conservation work is now underway

Last year the pool was been drained and the fish have been removed. Spring water has been diverted away from the pool to allow the silt to dry out.

Engineers are now engaged and are making plans to repair two of the walls, pipework and to replace the lining of the pool in the traditional clay.  

The first job is the remove the silt and vegetation from the pool. This is quite a tricky task as the steep terraced garden is not easy for diggers to access and move around in. 

Once this has been done we can clean and repair all the walls. Adding a protecting sealant to the walls that will bond with the new clay lining and help seal the pool and keep in the water.

The final stage is to insert the clay, called sodium bentonite, this comes in large rolls with a built in lining on both top and bottom. It is thin and flexible and is easily transported and installed, benifical for our hard-to-reach terraced garden. When water is added, the clay swells and creates a seal. It is also self healing if it is puctured, so we should ave less problems in the future.

The pool will then be filled with water and look as good as new.  The process should take about 8-12 weeks. 


Did you know?

During WWII pilots would follow waterways and lakes, which would reflect light, to enable them to navigate across land to various trigger points. The Mirror Pool and the Temple Pool, further down the valley, would have both been drained in the 1940s to prevent this from happening.

Upton's mirror pool in the 1940s drained of water to prevent enemy navigation
Seipa photo the mirror pool in the 1940s without water showing the large crack in the clay liner