The town of Ellesmere in North Shropshire (click for further information on Ellesmere town) has a unique and fascinating landscape shaped over thousands of years by natural and man-made forces.
Set in the rolling hills of glacial morraine it is bordered by a lake (the Mere),an 11th century castle earthworks and an 18th century canal system.
The distinctive landscape of northern Shropshire and southern Cheshire is characterised by the effects of the last glaciation when retreating ice sheets left behind gravels, sands, clays and boulders brought down from the mountains of Scotland, Wales and the Lake District area.
These deposits left gently rolling hills (known as moraines), water filled hollows (known as meres) and peat bogs (known as mosses), habitats which have provided a rich diverse source of materials and wildlife for settlers since prehistoric times.
Cremorne Gardens was once the site of the principal tannery in Ellesmere. After it closed in 1855 the land and nearby Ellesmere House was acquired by Lord Brownlow. The ‘Cremorne Gardens’ he created were named after the celebrated pleasure gardens on the bank of the Thames in Chelsea and on certain holidays selected members of the public were allowed to enter, with written permission from the Agent. In 1953 The Mere and Gardens were gifted to the public for their enjoyment.
The Mere is home to numerous waterfowl (including several winter migrants) and also has a resident colony of Herons. The birds first started nesting on Moscow Island in 1970 and the number of nests has now increased to around 25.
Moscow Island was made from debris from cutting the main road alongside the Mere in the cold winter when Napoleon conquered Moscow. The debris was put on the frozen Mere and formed an island after the thaw.