Petersfield Heath

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With its scenery, funfair and boat hire, the Heath is considered the jewel in Petersfield’s crown. But did you know there wasn’t always a pond at the Heath? 

In the early 1700s, Petersfield Heath had a bog problem. Cattle, which had grazed on the Heath for thousands of years, were getting stuck in the peat bog and drowning. Farmers joined together to dredge the bog and create a pond, which the residents of Petersfield enjoy to this day.

Besides boating and fishing, for 200 years the Heath has hosted the Taro Fair. In its heyday, the Heath was filled with thousands of animals for auction and attractions ranging from coconut shies to a rat-eating man. The last horses were sold in 1953, but the funfair still comes to the Heath in October.

Did you know?

People skated on the Heath Pond when winters were colder. In 1895 the ice was thick enough for a waggon to cross. Today stepping onto the frozen lake is banned because the ice is too thin.