Diamond Waterway Top Pond

 Diamond Waterway Top Pond

A one-metre strip at each of the pond edges is left uncut to support amphibians and small mammals and birds, providing them with an area in which they can safely move up and down the water’s edge by reducing the risk they have of being exposed to predators.
 
 
 
 

Photo: Charlie Tyjas

Location of Diamond Waterway Top Pond
 
 
 
 
 

 

Research Link

 
Archaeologists are interested in water too! We study
artefacts that people deposited in ponds, lakes and rivers — sometimes by accident, in other cases quite deliberately.
 
We are fascinated by how the availability of water
influenced where ancient people chose to live, build,
farm and hunt. And we are interested in recording the
many and varied humanly created features of the
landscape that contained water — ditches, canals and wells, for example. 
 
It is probably fair to say that archaeologists have paid
rather less attention to water itself, however. My research
has considered the very special properties of water to transform the human experience of landscape.
 
The top pond’ on the edge of the University campus is
one element within a ‘designed landscape’. Historians and archaeologists have spent a lot of time and energy
exploring the character of these sorts of designed
settings: they were environments created for
leisure, pleasure and visual appeal; for walking, talking
and socialising; but they were also intended to show sophistication and to impress people. Until very recently the designed landscape was seen as a post-medieval invention:  
in England the Tudor period was traditionally seen as the starting point for its development. In my book Designs
upon the Land: Elite Landscapes of the Middle Ages (2009, paperback 2013; https://boydellandbrewer.com/designs-upon-the-land.html) I argued that the elite of the Middle
Ages also indulged in landscape design, and that water was an important part of how these settings were structured. Around castles, manor houses and palaces, carefully managed expanses of water often served to seclude the spaces within which buildings stood and to influence how people approached them. Moats, ponds or lakes could reflect the majestic architecture of the residences of kings, bishops and nobles.
 
Features such as fishponds and swanneries around
medieval residences produced food for the table but also served to manage specific species which had strong associations with the social elite.   In short, water was
used to showcase the symbols of power, and around the world today we can find many examples where the same remains true.
 
Professor Oliver Creighton
Department of Archaeology