On a cloudy day in September I decided to explore one of Nottingham’s hidden areas, Martin’s Pond. I only became aware of its existence recently, even though it is very close to Wollaton Hall, as it is tucked away in a residential area. What I discovered on my wanderings though, was that Martin’s Pond is linked by a trail with Harrison’s Plantation, which in turn leads on to Raleigh Pond, hence putting them together in one post.
I learned that Martin’s Pond was the first site in Nottingham to be named a Local Nature Reserve, in 1976. It used to be the fish pond of the original Wollaton Hall and in those days would have actually been inside the Hall’s grounds.
Apparently its name may come from nothing more significant than the area used to be farmed by a Mr Martin. I was surprised by the size of the pond and there was plenty of wildlife on display from squirrels, dragonflies, swans and ducks. It is also used for fishing, as indeed a couple of gentlemen were doing when I visited.
I walked clockwise around the pond, so I didn’t encounter the trail to Harrison’s Plantation until I was back near the entrance to Martin’s Pond. Curious, I decided I may as well see where this lead me now that I was there.
There has apparently been woodland on this site since the 18th century and it made for some very pleasant scenery to walk through.
I haven’t been able to gather how Harrison’s Plantation came by its name but it is likely to be connected with the same fishing history as Martin’s Pond.
Continuing through the Plantation I then crossed a path and entered the area of the Plantation around Raleigh’s Pond. This is thought to have been a former clay pit but now is home to Canada geese and breeding mallards, though none were in evidence on my visit.
It was a good afternoon’s trip in lovely surroundings and somewhere I’m sure I’ll be visiting again. You can find more photos from each of these places here, here and here.
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Knew it very well, working nearby back in the day, a very sultry spot in summer
There are excellent photos on the ” Britain from above ” site . Photos are from 2919 to 1953.
On the Wollaton photos you can see the area of Lambourne Drive before its construction and The Old Coach Road which was the site of the World’s first railway ( Wood rails ). You will see the site of the old Nottingham Canal, Wollaton Colliery and Martin’s Pond which for many years was the site of huge showground . The area around the plantation was also the site of Players and Raleigh Sports Grounds.
1930 and beyond there were very many allotments in the area. Russell Drive was a late edition ,the old road going along the now boundary of Wollaton Hall into Wollaton Village and beyond. In the 50s and 60s Raleigh Pond was out of bounds as it was thought to be dangerous.
There is also some suggestion that Matins Pond was originally called St Martin’s Pond and was indeed a fish pond for the Hall.