Horse washing pond
— 07 Jul 2020
In the heart of rural north Devon, fronting the River Taw lies Hall, a local estate of the ancient Chichester family. Jonathan Rhind Architects have worked on several projects for the family over the years including works to cob barns on the estate.
Recently the old pond on the estate has been cleaned out of accumulated silt and weeds. The pond was originally built for horse washing, and was carefully designed to enable this. Once the base of the pond was cleaned, the well-made floor and walls were exposed, and the sluice gate at one end for drainage was again visible.
The ramp has pitched stone paving, and has certainly been well worn. The stones are set at a slight angle so that there is grip for horses hooves on the slope. The walls are pointed in lime mortar, and the floor contains larger stones simply bedded and pointed in clay. The pond is due to be repaired in traditional materials, by the estate.
The pond was originally fed by an intermittent stream that must have been diverted from the drainage ditches around the sides of nearby fields, and the current chatelaine remembers skating on the pond as a child.