Byron’s Pool

Yesterday Andres and I cycled from Lammas Land, along the Grantchester Grind, past Jeffery Archer’s house and along the road to Trumpington to Byron’s Pool, a local nature reserve. Originally an old mill pool (there is evidence of a mill on that site since the C11th) the area now boasts a short circular route through some woodland that takes in what must have once been an inviting pool of water caused by the meeting of Bourn Brook and the River Cam . Now a large concrete weir somewhat spoils the impression so that I must admit it was somewhat hard to imagine Lord Byron jumping in for a refreshing swim. Of course we really only have Rupert Brooke’s word for it that Byron ever did swim there! Brooke certainly conjured up a satisfying image that ‘Still in the dawnlit waters cool/His ghostly Lordship swims his pool’.

Despite the disinclination to swim in the murky water, we found the area was pleasant enough. We kept an eye out for Kingfishers and Grey Wagtails that are reputed to live there but sadly saw none! We did see lots of Oak and Hazel trees though, plenty of bird boxes and a baby wood pigeon so all was not lost. There are picnic tables, a BBQ area, some bike racks and plenty of parking if you’re thinking of going yourself. If you can’t make then you can read about it in Roger Deakin’s Waterlog or Rupert Brooke’s poem ‘The Old Vicarage, Grantchester. If you music is more your thing try Grantchester Meadows by Pink Floyd (lyrics here) or if it’s a novel you’re after why not read Tom Sharpe’s Grantchester Grind.

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