The Drowned Village of Milton Abbas?

It has been reported that the old town of Middleton was drowned around 1780 by Lord Milton when the dam was built and the lake first filled We even have eye witnesses who tell us they have seen the roofs and chimneys of the houses under the surface of the water.

This is a nice story, but unfortunately has no basis in truth. We have maps and surveys of the old town from 1652 and 1770, and it is clear that the buildings were no where near where the lake is today. The lake itself is shallow and never achieved the height of the dam. Besides the area was managed as water meadows in the 17th and 18th century.

To misquote Thomas Henry Huxley this is an example of ‘the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact‘.