Upper and Lower Lakes

The Castlecomer Lakes today

The creation of the upper and lower lakes situated within the Castlecomer Demesne can be seen as a marvelous feat of engineering and skill. The lakes themselves, although manmade, have added to the natural beauty of the Comer area over the years. It would be very hard to imagine the area without them.

This sort of development was very much in keeping with the period. Large landowners tended to create ideal landscapes based on the Romantic Movement. The mature lakes would also have provided a supply of fish for the estate, as well as sport. The lakes were designed in such a way that the flow of water from the upper lake fills the lower. Curiously, the lakes have no connection with the local River Dinan and are actually at a higher level. They rely completely on rainfall and runoff from the surrounding hills.

In the 1980s, the lakes had been drained into the River Dinan. By the year 2000, they had disappeared and had been reclaimed by the surrounding forest. In 2004 an ambitious plan was inaugurated by the Castlecomer Demesne Company to restore the lakes. Trees were cleared and the beds of the lakes dredged. The channels between the lakes were reopened, and a thriving trout fishery has since being established.

On purchasing the land, Sir Christopher Wandesforde had brought the first industry to Castlecomer as he introduced new breeds of livestock and deer to the area. To keep a constant water supply to the new town of Castlecomer (which he had built on the model of a town in Italy called Alsinore), he had a stream diverted into the town. It was this legacy that the Wandesforde family wanted to continue by further developing the land around them.

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