Our member Clive Barnes gave a presentation summarising his excellent research on the design and building of the dam and lake by Lord Milton to our history group on 1 June. This presentation with maps ‘Lord Milton and the Lake’ is now available for our members on our website. We now know the intentions of Lord Milton and Capability Brown compared to what was achieved when it came to build it. We are still actively researching and mapping the lake, and new LiDAR Digital Terrain Models are helping us understand this.
The court cases which resulted when Lord Milton, his daughter and heir Caroline and her heir Lord Portarlington dammed the Milborne Brook in order to fill the lake were many and may have resulted in the abandonment of Milborne Manor House and the move to Whatcombe of the Pleydell family. We have transcribed and researched these up to about 1820.
But it didn’t end there! A lot more correspondence ensued which is held by the Dorset History Centre – ‘Letters and a few other papers relating to case of Margaretta Michel v. the Earl of Portarlington about obstruction of watercourse, and to some related cases brought by tenants’ D-PLR/L/18.
These letters would be a great opportunity to see English law in action in the early Victorian era and how the ‘great and good'(???) settled their differences. Please get in touch if you would like to contribute to this research.
For more on this dispute and the history of the lake see our previous blog.