Observations on the shape of Bourne Hall Lake
It is generally considered that Bourne Hall Lake was enlarged to something like its present size in the late eighteenth century, and that there were further changes to the retaining wall in the nineteenth century. This is borne out by the shape of the lake as it appears on the 1802 Enclosure Map. So far as I am aware there has been no detailed consideration of the significance of the shape that is shown, and it is hoped that these notes on the subject will be of interest.
The following dates are relevant:
1770 The forerunner of Bourne Hall built for Phillip Rowden
1796 House bought by Thomas Hercey Barritt
1841 House bought by Henry Batson
1859 House bought by George Torr (it remained with the Torr family until 1896)
1962 House demolished prior to the building of the present Bourne Hall Community Centre
On the sketch, based on a modern OS map with a scale of approximately 50 inches to a mile, the present shape is indicated by a full line. The dotted line represents the shape as shown on the Enclosure Map, enlarged to approximately the same scale as the OS map. The enclosure map was drawn up by T. Bainbridge to a scale of about 18 inches to a mile. There is no guarantee that he would have detailed the lake with any great accuracy. Nevertheless, given the generally good quality of the drafting of the map, it is reasonable to assume that the overall size and general shape of the lake would not be far out.
The most significant difference in the shapes on the two maps is at the south end; the Enclosure Map shape is much more pointed. This pointed shape would not be compatible with the ‘bridge’ which is now at this end of the lake. This suggests that the bridge was built after 1802, placing it somewhat later than the previous dating of the late eighteenth century. The dog gate and the lodge have been dated as early nineteenth century, and it could well be that the three features were all built at the same time, shortly after 1802 at the time of Thomas Hercey Barritt.