There were originally three lakes, which are rumoured to have been dug by Roundhead troops camped at Marks Hall whilst under the command of Sir Thomas Honywood, Commander of the Essex Militia, during the Seige of Colchester in 1648.

These have since been modified to the two ornamental lakes that you see at Marks Hall today. Separated by a dam, the lakes are fed by Robins Brook, which runs across through the Arboretum down cascades, over weirs and under an ornate Iron Bridge constructed by Filmer Honywood in the early nineteenth century.  

The lakes have a thriving population of fresh water mussels along with roach and carp. Next to the lower lake is an original nuttery containing Cob Nut trees. This area is now a ‘spring flower area’ with snowdrops, species of daffodils, cowslips and other wild flowers.

The upper lake forms the fourth boundary to the Walled Garden and provides stunning reflections of Millennium Walk on clear still days.  The effect is especially striking in Autumn months.

If you are planning a visit to Marks Hall during Spring, Summer and Autumn months you can purchase fish and duck food from the Kiosk.  The site of the hungry mouths of the large carp is not to be missed!