The Lakes

The Upper and Lower lakes are home to our National Collection of over 100 varieties of Hardy Water Lily. The Upper Lake (the larger of the two) was created around 1904, with the Lower Lake being aded in the 1920's.

Search out the old photograph on display in The Lilypad Cafe where you will see the Upper Lake just before its completion around 1904.

Our fish will leave children wide eyed in wonder. Huge and very greedy they love being hand fed by our visitors.

Major Stewart had the lakes built to house Rainbow and Brown Trout, and he would invite his friends to the lakes to do a spot of fly fishing and eat the Trout he caught for lunch.

Some of the Carp you see in the lakes today were originally placed in the lake by the Environment Agency after they had saved a large quantity of fish from another lake in Yorkshire. The large fish are Carp, the brown ones are common carp (Cyprinus carpio carpio). They were domesticated throughout the world from as early as the fifth century BC and often used as a food source. However you will not see them on the menu in our Café!

The more colourful Koi carp were bred for their colour in Japan from the 1820s in the Niigata prefecture; by the early 20th century a number of colour patterns had been established. The outside world did not become aware of the development of the colour variations until 1914 when the Niigata Koi were exhibited in the annual exposition in Tokyo. At this point the interest in Koi exploded throughout Japan and eventually the world.