Digswell Lake is a sheet of open water along the river Mimram with good views of Digswell railway viaduct to the east. Historic views up the valley to the south-east towards Digswell House are now blocked by trees around the lake. Much of the modern planting is rhododendron and holly. The site is bounded by roads and the railway viaduct and thus cut off from the wider historic Digswell landscape. The springs which feed the lake are still active and the weir discharging the water into the Mimram in good condition. The land and lake are maintained by the Digswell Lake Society. Although the site is not open to the public, it is accessible to paid members.
The lake was created in 1809 and completed with weir, sluices etc by 1810 (diary entry by ES Cowper). The woods surrounding them are sweet chestnut with oak and thorn but date is unknown. The large layering Hornbeam coppice at the end of the lake is similar to those at Stanmore and Wrotham, both Brown sites. Between World War 1 and 2 it was rented to a local bailiff who bred trout and let it out for fly fishing. In 1957 the Digswell Lake Society was formed and leased the lake and 17 acres of ground from Welwyn Garden City Development Corporation. In 1985 it purchased the freehold from the New Towns Commission.
- Access & Directions
DirectionsAccessible from A1000, Bessemer Road in Welwyn Garden City or car park on Digswell Park Road