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Stone-lined watering pond at Norris Castle

A Grade II Listed Building in East Cowes, Isle of Wight

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Latitude: 50.7632 / 50°45'47"N

Longitude: -1.2756 / 1°16'32"W

OS Eastings: 451183

OS Northings: 96208

OS Grid: SZ511962

Mapcode National: GBR 89S.2B7

Mapcode Global: FRA 8762.BVV

Plus Code: 9C2WQP7F+7P

Entry Name: Stone-lined watering pond at Norris Castle

Listing Date: 16 November 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1438968

Location: Norris Castle, Isle of Wight, PO32

County: Isle of Wight

Civil Parish: East Cowes

Built-Up Area: East Cowes

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Isle of Wight

Church of England Parish: East Cowest St James

Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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Livestock watering pond, early C19, for Lord Henry Seymour.


Livestock watering pond, early C19, for Lord Henry Seymour.

MATERIALS: constructed of coursed and squared stone.

DESCRIPTION: a substantial T-shaped stone-lined watering pond approximately 8m by 9m with a watering ramp extending 6m on the north side. The squared stone walls are about 1m to 2m high.


The livestock watering pond is one of nine ponds originally situated with the landscaped park of Norris Castle. In 1795 Lord Henry Seymour (1746-1830) purchased a small farm called ‘Norris’ and subsequently constructed a marine villa estate. It included Norris Castle, a Gothic Revival house built in the form of a castle, and a castellated model farm (Norris Castle Farm) constructed to the designs of the architect James Wyatt (1746-1813) from c1799 (both Grade I listed). A landscaped park with an oval loop of carriage drive was created from former fields covering 124 acres and is shown on the 1810 OS map (Grade I registered). The inclusion of a watercolour view of Norris by the landscape designer Humphry Repton (1752-1818) in the 1805 edition of Peacock's Polite Repository suggests his likely involvement in the design (Carter et al 1982). Lord Seymour held an interest in agricultural improvement, which was integrated into the new estate. The extensive model farm housed cattle and horses with manure being utilised on an attached kitchen garden. Engravings indicate that the park served as pasture for cattle, sheep, and a muster of peacocks.

The livestock watering pond was built in the early C19. It is one of an original nine ponds situated within the park, of which seven survive in varying states of preservation; some of these were ornamental, others were provided for livestock. A set of 1830 sales particulars notes the provision of ‘grass land, well supplied with water’ in the park, which is likely to be a reference to the ponds within the pasture fields. The pond is shown on the 1845 Tithe map and later sales particulars and estate plans. The design, with a watering ramp on one side, is likely to have controlled livestock access in order to maintain water quality; if given unrestricted access on all sides of a pond, livestock can erode the edges, muddy the water through wading, add manure, and promote aquatic weed growth.

Reasons for Listing

The livestock watering pond at Norris Castle, built for Lord Henry Seymour in the early C19, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as a livestock watering pond forming part of a progressive estate within the context of early C19 agricultural improvement, and a landscaped park laid out according to picturesque principles;
* Materials: a substantial stone-lined pond finely constructed of coursed and squared stone;
* Group value; as one of a group of early C19 livestock watering ponds that form part of a marine villa estate of outstanding architectural and historic interest including a Grade I listed house and model farm, Grade II listed lodges, Bathing House and attached sea wall, Pump House and two cattle shelters, within a Grade I registered landscape, adjacent to a Grade II* registered park and Grade I listed house at Osborne.

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