The Newt Pond in the Old Sand Quarry.

I doubt very much if there are many who remember the pond in the Quarry.

The pond that was, when I was a youngster, a breeding habitat for the many newts that lived among the stone rocks that sat in the pond, often used as stepping stones for we very excited children learning about pond life. ( Although we didn’t realise it at the time ).

The pond, although I don’t know if it is still there, was in what we called the old Sand Quarry, obviously, it had been worked out many years before.

To describe just where the pond was situate, we have to pass under the railway bridge that led into the quarry. On the right, you passed the house in the quarry where Joe Smith lived and kept his horse, dog, pigs, and chicks. Straight along from the bridge led you along a stone chippings path to Gregory’s Quarry and huts, into the working stone quarry that still produced the stone for building.

That just left , on the left, the old Sand Quarry.  This old quarry had been left to allow nature to take it’s course. The beauty of this place attracted walkers, with their regular visits, to enjoy the weekends walking and enjoying the beauty , turning what used to be a hive of activity, into a local beauty spot. It became quite a regular haunt of the American Soldiers.

The pathway through, was in the sort of lowlands of the quarry. For on the right was a high embankment that after being left for many years, turned into an embankment full of trees and green grass carpets. A narrow trodden path meandered through the trees and back down to the valley.

Along the left hand side of the quarry’s valley, was a rock face that was around 30 feet  high. At the top were a few allotments that someone had made use of before you came to the railway property lines.

It was at the bottom of these rocks that a smallish pond had formed, maybe from a freshwater spring, of maybe from ground water seeping through to the lowest point. Nevertheless, it was here that the newts decided to make this lovely sheltered pond, their home.

Comments about this page

  • Alan, I remember it well and I’m glad to see this post. I remember the colour of the water, it was so clear, and teeming with newts. Newts are protected these days and I’m sure that the quarry pond, and the area that we knew as the Hermo would have become protected areas.

    By Harry (08/07/2022)
  • Are you referring to the one that was in the quarry beyond Berry Hill Park?
    In the 1960’s me and my cousin, Mick Whittlestone, used to regularly walk to it from the park. To get to it we had to go through a long narrow tunnel. Beyond the tunnel were the ruined remains of a smallish railway engine and trucks no doubt used for removing the sand during the quarries heyday.
    The pond was, as you say, a haven for wildlife, lots of newts, tadpoles and frogs, a different world, quite remote in its natural beauty from the townscape of Mansfield, a tiny paradise. I also remember when adventuring to or from the quarry the incessant song of skylarks high in the sky.
    I left Mansfield many decades ago, are there any skylarks there now?

    By Glenn Sutcliffe (16/04/2020)
  • Straight along from the bridge led you along a stone chippings path to Gregory’s Quarry and huts, into the working stone quarry that still produced the stone for building.

    Ref the above quote from the contribution of Mr A. Curtis, I have a vague recollection of the pond mentioned – very vague that is! The memory of Gregory’s Quarry however is firmly fixed in my mind as it was the location of my first job when I left school back in 1958 /59.

    I worked in the stone quarry that winter for a couple of months approx., but left voluntarily as a result of the introduction of short time working hours due to the very cold weather. Difficult to get at the stone during those freezing periods. Official management decision!

    That’s sixty years ago, to long to remember the names of any other ‘lads’ who worked there. There is, or was, a church at the junction of Rosemary Street and Chesterfield Road, I believe the ‘stone cross’ thereon was made at Gregory’s Quarry all those years ago.

    By Steeve Cee. (03/12/2018)

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