Carshalton Ponds is a great place to start or finish your walk along the Wandle Trail. Although today Carshalton Ponds are man made, the springs in this area were once one of the original sources of the River Wandle. This post contains everything you need to know about Carshalton Ponds.
Map of Carshalton Ponds
Carshalton Ponds and the River Wandle
The source of the River Wandle has changed over time, but today its two sources are in Carshalton and Croydon. The Carshalton branch of the river, however, is much smaller today compared to how it was when the Saxons first settled here.
For this reason, the Carshalton branch has now become a tributary of the River Wandle, known as the River Wrythe. The Wrythe meets with the larger river, that flows from Croydon, in Wilderness Island.
Today, very little natural water replenishes the Carshalton branch of the river. The two ponds in Carshalton are created from river water that is pumped into them from downstream. It is this recirculated water that keeps the Carshalton branch of the river flowing.
History of Carshalton Ponds
Carshalton Ponds was once one large pond, but this was divided into two in the 15th century, and the lower east pond used as a reservoir for Carshalton’s upper mill.
At that time the ponds were replenished by a series of springs and streams, but today they would have dried up if they were not kept topped up artificially.
Historically the upper west pond was always public property, whilst the lower east pond was private.
The Lower East Pond
The lower east pond first belonged to Stone Court, which was a grand house that stood in what is now The Grove Park. In the early 19th century Stone Court was demolished, and a new house called The Grove was built.
The stone bridge, shown in the photograph below, is where the river leaves the lower east pond, and flows into The Grove Park. The bridge contains the Griffin crest of the Carshalton family.
The Grove Park was once the site of Carshalton’s upper mill.
Overlooking the lower east pond is All Saints Church, shown in the photograph below. All Saints Church was first mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086, and was greatly extended between 1890-1913.
The causeway, which is also shown in the photograph, that takes vehicles across the ponds, was built around 1828. Before this there was just a narrow pedestrian causeway.
The Upper West Pond
The upper west pond has Honeywood Walk running along its north side. Here you will find the war memorial, the Greyhound Hotel, and Honeywood Museum.
You can see Honeywood Museum in the photograph above, overlooking the pond. The building dates back to the late 17th century, but had Victorian and Edwardian extensions, including a billiards room, drawing room, and Victorian scullery. The museum is well worth a visit, and has displays on local history, as well as a tearoom.
The Greyhound, shown in the centre of the photograph below, was originally a venue for cock fights in the 1700s. The original inn was rebuilt around 1840, and today is a pub and hotel.
Fishing in Carshalton Ponds
If you want to go fishing on the River Wandle, Carshalton Ponds is not the best spot. This part of the river is a good habitat for spawning, and juvenile fish, but larger fish are rarely caught here.
In 2015, the river in Carshalton was modified to create an environment similar to that found in the headwaters of a chalk stream. This included adding large quantities of gravel, to create an optimal spawning environment for trout.
As a result of this trout started regularly spawning in this part of the river, and this stretch of the river won the UK River Prize in 2016. The Environment Agency also classified it as having “Good Ecological Potential.” Despite this, it is not a good place for fishing, since larger fish are usually found further downstream.
Pubs by Carshalton Ponds
There are three pubs overlooking Carshalton Ponds: The Greyhound Pub, The Woodman, and The Coach and Horses. The Greyhound, shown in the photograph below, is a Grade II listed building, with an outside terrace.
Christmas Fair at Carshalton Ponds
Every year Carshalton Ponds is the site of a Christmas fair called the Carshalton Frost Fair. The fair includes stalls from the farmer’s market, locally made Christmas gifts, food, and warm drinks like mulled wine and hot cider. There’s also a Santa’s grotto, and entertainment for children.
Following the Wandle Trail from Here
If you are following the Wandle Trail, Carshalton Ponds is a good place to start or finish. Follow the path through The Grove Park, towards Wilderness Island where the trail meets with the main branch of the river.
If you are finishing your walk at Carshalton Ponds, I recommend visiting Honeywood Museum, where you can have a cup of tea and piece of cake in their tearoom.
This Post was About Carshalton Ponds
Thank you for reading my post about Carshalton Ponds. If you have visited this part of the Wandle Trail, please leave me a comment below with your thoughts.