- Virginia Water Lake
lake_name = Virginia Water Lake
image_lake = Virginia Water Lake 1.jpg
coords = coord|51|24|40|N|0|36|10|W|type:waterbody_region:GB|display=inline,title
inflow = River Bourne
outflow = River Bourne
basin_countries = United Kingdom
Virginia Water Lake lies on the southern edge of
Windsor Great Park, in the boroughof Runnymede in Surreyand the civil parishes of Old Windsorand Sunninghill and Ascotin Berkshire, in England. It is a man-made lake taking its name from a natural body of water of the same name. There is a village of Virginia Waterwhich stretches out to the east of the lake.
Virginia Water Lake was originally little more than a stream, which existed from at least the 17th century and may well be named after Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen, although this is not certain. The lake itself was begun in 1746 by William, Duke of Cumberland who was then Ranger of the Park. Few details are recorded of the building of the lake, however it has been suggested that prisoners-of-war from the recent Jacobite risings, who were encamped at the nearby
Breakheart Hill, were involved. The original lake was much smaller than the current form, and was destroyed in a flood in 1768. In 1780 Paul and Thomas Sandbybegan construction of a much larger lake at the site, and went on to add an artificial waterfall, Meadow Pond and Obelisk Pond.
The circuit around the lake is about 4½miles (7.2 km), about half is paved and the other half is a 'natural' path both providing easy walking conditions even with a pram or pushchair. [ [http://www.abasplace.co.uk/walks/virginia_water/virginia_water.htm Aba's Walks] ] Recently the lake has been used by the crews for the
Harry Potterfilms for lakeside scenes. The Scottish alternative was deemed unsuitable due to the number of midges.
The River Bourne provides the water for the lake and it exits the lake at the eastern end after the cascading waterfall.
* [http://ww2.runnymede.gov.uk/leisure/tourism/towns_villages/virginia.asp Runnymede borough council - picture of cascading waterfall]
* [http://ww2.runnymede.gov.uk/leisure/outdoor/rambles/2003/Walk_13.pdf Walk around the lake]
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