There are several maps that show the Pools in the Fishpool Valley. The earliest we have found is of a date that is not exact but is in the late 18th century about 1790.
On the ground there are in fact six pools. By the end of 2019 the will be seven.
Whilst working in the valley we tend to refer to the Dams rather than the Pools and so we might for example go off to work on or around the Pool at Dam six. The numbering of the pools/dams came about during a survey of the past when for the benefit of accurate reporting they were numbers one to six starting at the bottom of the brook with number six adjacent to the Lime Kiln further up the valley.
A team of Croft Castle Volunteers, myself among them, have been involved in researching the development of the Fishpool Valley. One of our team came across two small handwritten dockets whilst searching through archives at the National Library of Wales Aberystwyth.
What this one docket says is :-
6 brace of carp in the lowermost stew.
Thirty brace in the dog kennel powl,
Five brace in the stew above.
Four brace in the stew above that.
Thirteen brace of trout Do.
Seven brace of perch in the dog kennel powl
This simple hand written docket tells us quite a bit about the Pools; it refers to a Dog Kennel Pool and to the Pool at the bottom of the valley which is called quite simply ‘the Lowermost Pool’. The second handwritten docket refers to the ‘Lime Kiln Powl’.
This July 2019, a seventh pool is to be re-instated and a decision has been taken to give the pools names rather than the rather bland numbering we have been using until now. The seven pools starting from the lowest end of the brook will now be known as:
The Lowermost Pool
The Ice House Pool
The Dog Kennel Pool
The Pump House Pool
The Lime Kiln Pool
The Grotto Pool.
We don’t know if our names are all as they were back in the late 18th century but names are far better than just numbers.
- Our Twitter feed is currently unavailable but you can visit our official twitter page @CriticalMedia.