Black Park Lake - Britain's Most Famous Lake
BLACK PARK LAKE - BRITAIN'S MOST FAMOUS LAKE
Black Park Lake, never heard of it, so how can it be Britain's most famous lake? I hear you ask.
Well, unless you live within the environs of Black Park, which is located in the county of Buckinghamshire, England, you probably haven't heard of it, but I'm guessing that each and every one of you reading this has in fact seen Black Park Lake at least once in your life, so I will go on to tell you how I am able to be so confident about this fact.
Black Park Lake is situated in Black Park, a 530 acre heathland, woodland and grassland recreational park situated near the small parish of Wexham, near Slough, in the county of Buckinghamshire.
The heathland that was to become Black Park was situated alongside the ancient Langley Park, both of which were bought in 1738 by politician and Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, Charles Spencer (1706 - 1758) 3rd Duke of Marlborough.
The Duke went on to enlarge his newly acquired ancient parkland by planting hundreds of fir trees on the site of which became the Pine Walk in Black Park, soon after his purchase.
It was the shade cast by these stately firs, that gave Black Park its name.
Still not content with this vast parkland, the Duke then commissioned Thomas Greening (1730 - 1809) head gardener to King George II at Windsor Castle, to design and create a lake as a centrepiece for his new found park.
The lake was constructed in 1741 by de - commissioned soldiers from the War of Jenkins Ear (1739 - 1748) one of the many wars between Britain and Spain.
Charles Spencer, 3rd Duke of Marlborough
Situated to the north of the newly formed Black Park, is an area known as Iver Heath and on the periphery of this heath was built a large, Victorian Manor House, which went on to become known locally as Heatherden Hall.
Now this is where it all gets interesting folks, so bear with me.
In 1914 Heatherden Hall was bought by Canadian financier Grant Morden ( 1880 - 1934 ), who spent thousands of pounds modernising the house, which he eventually turned into a private, country retreat for politicians, diplomats, businessmen and other high flying movers and shakers of the day.
It was here at Heatherden Hall, in November 1921, that the agreement to form the Irish Free State was signed, so we are talking one very important and prestigious abode here folks, but it gets even more interesting as we go on, because, poor old Grant Morden died in 1934, apparently penniless, and in order for his estate to pay the obligatory death duties, his grand house had to be sold off at auction.
It was purchased by a certain Henry Boot, son of a prominent construction and property tycoon of the day.
Boot jnr spent 12 months turning the once beautiful, baroque house into an office block complex for a movie studio that he had in mind to build, but instead he ended up selling the property to non other than British industrialist and film producer, Joseph Arthur Rank ( 1888 - 1972 ).
Sir Charles' Pine Walk
Today Heatherden Hall is situated in the grounds of the world famous Pinewood Studios ( so named because of those firs planted by Charles Spencer back in 1738 ) which of course has gone on to use the services of it's neighbour Black Park and it's lake countless times as an outdoor film set location for the filming of many movies and T.V shows.
With the list of films and TV shows that I will mention further down in this article, it would seem that the park is one long, continuous filmset, but the film company actually only use the services of the park for about 20 days a year.
Although no one can enter the hallowed grounds of Pinewood Studios, nor it's near neighbours at Shepperton Studios or Bray Studios, who also regularly use the park for set locations, one can of course visit Black Park and its famous lake any day of the year and walk around this vast filmset.
The park is also a four times winner of the Green Flag Award, has several SSSI ( site of special scientific interest ) areas within it's grounds and was officially designated as a Nature Reserve in 1992.
Today Black Park is sepearated from the grounds of the ancient Langley Park and it's 18th century landscaped gardens by the route of the A412 road.
The park's address is -
Black Park Road,
Postcode - SL3 6DS.
Tel - 01753 511 060.
The Sleepy Hollow film set in 1999
BLACK PARK LAKE ON TV AND FILM:
Black Park Lake has appeared -
As a lake in Central Park, New York and a lake in upper New York State in several episodes of Jeeves and Wooster.
The episodes Death of a Hollow Man, Beyond the Grave and Murder on St Malley's day in the Midsomer Murders series.
A lake in a London park in several episodes of Agatha Christie's Poirot series.
As a set location on most of the 1950 - 1970 Hammer House of Horror films, generally depicting Transylvania.
Six Carry On Films from the 1960's, Carry On Dick, Carry On Don't Lose Your Head, Carry On Cowboy, Carry On Cabbie, carry On Henry and Carry On Up The Jungle.
The Ugandan warlords camp in the James Bond film, Casino Royale and the Alpine car chase sequence in Goldfinger.
The 1976 film Bugsy Malone.
Several 1980's episodes of the Dr Who series.
The town of Sleepy Hollow in the 1999 film of the same name.
Eden Lake in the 2008 film of the same name.
A CIA training camp in Agent Cody Banks II.
Monty Python's, And Now For Something Completely Different.
The banks of the River Seine in Ridley Scott's 2011 film, Robin Hood.
Mike Batt's 1977 film, Wombling Free.
The 2008 Batman film, Dark Knight.
Black Beauty the film.
The 2005 remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
All the Harry Potter films.
The 2010 film, The Wolfman.
Several sketches in episodes of the comedy series, Harry and Paul, featuring Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse.
And many, many more too numerous to mention..........
So, is this the most famous lake in Britain and have you seen this lake at least once in your life?
All images courtesy of wikimedia commons