One woman's wild swimming adventures in the west country

Mystical Meldon Pond

Meldon Dam is spectacular with Royal Wedding-scale bridal veils of overflow. We cross the clam over the dark and flooded West Okment and squelch through the woods. Suddenly, through autumn trees illuminated by bright sun, a delicious, turquoise pool materialises. It’s as though a chunk of sea has dropped from the sky to stun us in this world of amber waters and green turf.

The leaves are starting to turn, and their greens and golds are mirrored around the edges of the pool, refracting their tints through the water so that the ocean colours turn with them and become indescribably autumnal. The sky is a bright, cool blue and fish-boned with diaphanous clouds. I feel the nip of autumn in the air and the burn of clear, cold water on my skin.

A wall of rock like a fairy-tale castle teeters over us as we swim. The luminous grey is smooth and streaked with limestone trails that are almost indistinguishable from the ripples reflected off the surface of the pool. Ivy trails down. Our two new wild swimmers are enchanted, and so are we.

Meldon Pond is a flooded limestone quarry which is around one hundred and thirty feet deep. The links  below are transcripts of some oral history of this magical place.






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2 thoughts on “Mystical Meldon Pond

  1. Hi! Am enjoying your blogs. I am an artist interested at the moment in mermaids and as I think you are the nearest thing to one, I wonder if you could give me some feedback on how you FEEL about water, in water, away from water, etc……that’s if you have much time on dry land. lol.

    • wildwomanswimming on said:

      Hi Jane, glad you like my blogs, thanks!
      Funnily enough, I have a 1m square mermaid mosaic on my bathroom wall which took me 6 months to construct. I have a fascination with feminine archetypes that started with The Little Mermaid and Hansel and Gretel which I read over and over as a child in the ’60s. I’ll think about what you’ve asked and send you a reply in a bit – working for the next few days. I’m really interested in your art too, would love to see how mermaids fit in.
      Almost forgot, I love your hare watercolour – we do Moon Gazey swims and I’ve named my cottage Moon Gazey in their honour…

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