The Mere in Ellesmere

Overview of The Mere at Ellesmere

The Mere at Ellesmere is a distinguished and award-winning park that features a picturesque lake, lush gardens, woodland walks, and historic parkland. Located on the edge of the medieval market town of Ellesmere, it is the largest of the nine meres and mosses scattered across the unique Shropshire landscape. The Mere itself spans 46 hectares, making it the largest mere in Shropshire.

Historical and Geological Significance

The formation of The Mere dates back approximately 12,000 years to the last Ice Age. The retreat of glaciers left behind deep depressions, known as “kettle holes,” which filled with meltwater to create the meres. This process also shaped the surrounding landscape, which is characterized by thick glacial sands, gravels, and boulder clays, contributing to the flat or gently undulating terrain interspersed with hummocks and lakes.

Cultural and Archaeological Heritage

The Mere and its surrounding area hold significant historical value. The landscape and its features have been used and transformed through various historical periods:

  • Prehistoric Use: The area was likely used for fishing and other subsistence activities.
  • Medieval Defense: The Motte and Bailey, a scheduled ancient monument located nearby, was a significant defensive structure in the 11th century.
  • Industrial Exploitation: In the 17th century, the area saw industrial activities.
  • Recreational Use: By the 19th century, the park was developed for recreational use, initially for the gentry and later for the general public from the mid-20th century onwards.

The park’s buildings and structures, such as Ellesmere House and the Garden Terraces, reflect its aristocratic past and are of regional and local significance.

Modern Day Attractions and Facilities

The Mere is a vibrant hub of activity and a cherished destination for both locals and tourists. Key attractions and facilities include:

  • Boathouse and Visitor Centre: Centralized public facilities offering snacks, light refreshments, and information about the park.
  • Rangers Bungalow: Featuring a Community Room available for hire, offering a space for events and gatherings.
  • Cremorne Gardens: Providing additional amenities such as public toilets, children’s play areas, adventure play areas, formal flower beds, specimen trees, and lawns.
  • Themed Walks and Trails: Including the all-ability trail, the Promenade, and the ‘Tree Trail,’ which highlight both young and veteran trees.
  • Boating and Water Activities: Canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and boating are popular activities on The Mere, with annual memberships available for enthusiasts.

Accessibility and Visitor Information

The park offers various walking routes, though a complete circuit around The Mere is not possible due to parts of the eastern shore being privately owned. Key points of interest and amenities include:

  • The Mere Visitor Centre: Where visitors can view live images of herons nesting on Heron Island during the spring.
  • The Promenade: An excellent spot for wildlife observation and leisurely walks.
  • Boathouse Restaurant: Providing food and drink with views overlooking The Mere.
  • Community Room: Available for rent, providing a space for community activities and private events.

Events and Community Involvement

The Mere at Ellesmere hosts various events and activities throughout the year, engaging the community and visitors alike. The park’s management, under Shropshire Council, ensures that the site remains a well-maintained and welcoming space for all.

For more information, including booking details and further inquiries, visitors can contact the park office or check the official website for updates on events, activities, and facilities.

Canoeing on the Mere

Canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding and boating are a great way to enjoy the Mere and are permitted all year round once a membership form is filled in and an annual fee of £33 per adult is paid. The Ellesmere boating Application 2024 should be completed and returned together with payment to the address on the form.  For more information about using the open water at the Mere, please email:  For information about our office location, access to site and boating restricted areas on the Mere please click on Ellesmere boating map