It’s a mere – not a lake

Unlike lakes, meres do not have water flowing through them, but depend on water draining from the surrounding land. The word comes from Anglo Saxon.


Ellesmere’s biggest mere – The Mere – sits on the edge of the town and is the largest natural lake in England outside of the Lake District.


The Mere, Ellesmere


There are nine meres in all, and they were created at the end of the last Ice Age, when huge blocks of ice remained in the landscape and formed depressions in the ground, which then filled with water.


The Mere also has an artificial island, created from land excavated during the creation of the gardens at Ellesmere House in 1812. It got its name – Moscow Island – from the retreat of Napoleon from Moscow in that year.

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