Historic England Listing:
List Entry Number: 1001171
Heritage Category: Parkland
Clandon Park Estate, West Clandon, Guildford, Surrey
Clandon Fishing Lakes and Conservation plan includes three bodies of water.
This Lake (described variously as Upper Lake, Top Lake or the Canal) was originally a spring fed pond believed to have been created into a canal by a local canal works pioneer. It has been suggested that its early culverts appear very similar to his designs. Some believe that the canal edges were then softened in the C18 following a design by Capability Brown, however there appears to be only hearsay of his actual involvement. Nonetheless the Lake must have been created in the style of the time, which was undoubtedly of Capability Brown style and the works were undertaken by staff on the Clandon Park Estate circa 1776-1820 by the many Estate staff that were employed on Clandon Park or in the Clandon House labour intensive formal gardens. Further plantings were added between then and now. Here you can see the Lake in a photograph taken in 1905 with the original Boathouse which Lord Onslow is currently considering reinstating. The Lake has always been used for fishing. This lake is included in the Clandon lakes and conservation programme.
Over the last two centuries the two manmade lakes, Top and Middle (originally a millpond) Lake were opened up to individuals who are passionate fishermen (of both sexes). The peace and tranquility of the lakes is important to those who fish and also to the wildlife that have been introduced there such as duck, swans and geese. There is little that can improve these special unspoilt environments in terms of conserving the locations, other than regular monitoring of the water quality and levels, replanting the water margins as and when required and general maintenance after storms. Draining to certain levels and Dredging is undertaken regularly to check for and remove invasive and non indiginous species and the lakes ph is monitored. The lakes are stocked for fishing on a catch and release basis unless they become overstocked.
If you fish from a boat or stand and fish from the banks, the Top and Middle Lakes are quite spiritual places but they are also very challenging places to fish. The larger manmade Lake, called the Fishing Lake or Swimming Pool, in the far North of Clandon Park, was created in the 1980's by the 7th Earl and the current Earl as a father and son project together. The water margins were planted between 1980 and 2015. This lake is particularly well stocked with fish each year and is well suited to the less experienced fisherman. The Onslow family are known to favour this lake to regularly swim or to swim their horses although they tend to avoid using it for this purpose while the lake is being fished !
The Top and Middle Lakes have been comparatively undisturbed for many years. Here the largest and canniest fish lurk and these very large older fish, wise to a fishermans ways, require great skill and patience to catch and land !
Photographs here are the property of the Onslow family and may not be reproduced, copied or in any way used by third parties without written permission.