Mere (lake)

Mere in English refers to a lake that is broad in relation to its depth, e.g. Martin Mere. A significant effect of its shallow depth is that for all or most of the time, it has no thermocline.

Rushmere, on Wimbledon Common

Derivation of the word


The word mere is recorded in Old English as mere ″sea, lake″, corresponding to Old Saxon meri, Old Low Franconian *meri (Dutch meer ″lake, pool″, Picard mer ″pool, lake″, Northern French toponymic element -mer), Old High German mari / meri (German Meer ″sea″), Goth. mari-, marei, Old Norse marr ″sea″ (Norwegian mar ″sea″, Shetland Norn mar ″mer, deep water fishing qarea″, Faroese marrur ″mud, sludge″, Swedish place name element mar-, French mare ″pool, pond″). They derive from reconstituted Proto-Germanic *mari, itself from Indo-European *mori, the same root as marsh and moor. The Indo-European root *mori gave also birth to similar words in the other European languages : Latin mare ″sea″ (Italian mare, Spanish mar, French mer), Old Celtic *mori ″sea″ (Gaulish mori-, more, Irish muir, Welsh môr, Breton mor), Old Slavic morje.[1][2]


Lake windermere in 2005
Windermere (viewed from the north: about grid reference NY4003).

The word once included the sea or an arm of the sea in its range of meaning but this marine usage is now obsolete (OED). It is a poetical or dialect word meaning a sheet of standing water, a lake or a pond (OED). The OED's fourth definition ("A marsh, a fen.") includes wetland such as fen amongst usages of the word which is reflected in the lexicographers' recording of it. In a quotation from the year 598, mere is contrasted against moss (bog) and field against fen. The OED quotation from 1609 does not say what a mere is, except that it looks black. In 1629 mere and marsh were becoming interchangeable but in 1876 mere was 'heard, at times, applied to ground permanently under water': in other words, a very shallow lake. The online edition of the OED's quoted examples relate to:

  1. the sea: Old English to 1530: 7 quotations
  2. standing water: Old English to 1998: 22 quotations
  3. arm of the sea: 1573 to 1676: 4 quotations
  4. marsh or fen: 1609 to 1995: 7 quotations


Where land similar to that of Martin Mere, gently undulating glacial till, becomes flooded and develops fen and bog, the remnants of the original mere remain until the whole is filled with peat. This can be delayed where the mere is fed by lime-rich water from chalk or limestone upland and a significant proportion of the outflow from the mere takes the form of evaporation. In these circumstances, the lime (typically calcium carbonate) is deposited on the peaty bed and inhibits plant growth, therefore, peat formation. A typical feature of these meres is that they are alongside a river rather than having the river flowing through them. In this way, the mere is replenished by seepage from the bed of the lime-rich river, through the river's natural levée, or by winter floods. The water of the mere is then static through the summer, when the concentration of the calcium carbonate rises until it is precipitated on the bed of the mere.

Even quite shallow lake water can develop a thermocline in the short term but where there is a moderately windy climate, the circulation caused by wind drift is sufficient to break this up. (The surface is blown down-wind in a seiche and a return current passes either near the bottom or just above the thermocline if that is present at a sufficient depth.) This means that the bed of the shallow mere is aerated and bottom-feeding fish and wildfowl can survive, providing a livelihood for people around. Expressed more technically, the mere consists entirely of the epilimnion. This is quite unlike Windermere where in summer, there is a sharp thermocline at a depth of 9 to 15 metres, well above the maximum depth of 60 metres or so. (M&W p36)

At first sight, the defining feature of a mere is its breadth in relation to its shallow depth. This means that it has a large surface in proportion to the volume of water it contains. However, there is a limiting depth beyond which a lake does not behave as a mere since the sun does not warm the deeper water and the wind does not mix it. Here, a thermocline develops but where the limiting dimensions lie is influenced by the sunniness and windiness of the site and the murkiness of the water. This last usually depends on how eutrophic (rich in plant nutrients) the water is. Nonetheless, in general, with the enlargement of the extent of a mere, the depth has to become proportionately less if it is to behave as a mere.

English meres

There are many examples in Cheshire, including:

  • Alsager Mere
  • Budworth Mere
  • Comber Mere
  • Hatch Mere
  • Mere
  • Oak Mere
  • Pick Mere
  • Radnor Mere
  • Redes Mere
  • Rostherne Mere
  • Shakerley Mere
  • Tatton Mere

Many examples also occur in north Shropshire, especially around the town of Ellesmere, such as:

  • Blakemere
  • Colemere
  • Crosemere
  • Ellesmere (The Mere)
  • Hanmer Mere
  • Kettlemere
  • Newtonmere
  • Sweatmere
  • Whitemere


The Fens of eastern England, as well as fen, lowland moor (bog) and other habitats, included a number of meres. As at Martin Mere in Lancashire, when the fens were being drained to convert the land to pasture and arable agriculture, the meres went too but some are easily traced owing to the characteristic soil. For the reasons given above, it is rich in both calcium carbonate and humus. On the ground, its paleness stands out against the surrounding black, humic soils and on the soil map, the former meres show as patches of the Willingham soil association, code number 372 (Soil Map).

Apart from those drained in the medieval period, they are shown in Saxton's map of the counties (as they were in his time) of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire. The following is a list of known meres of the eastern English Fenland with their grid references.

Saxton's meres are named as:

  • Trundle Mere TL2091
  • Whittlesey Mere TL2291
  • Stretham Mere TL5272
  • Soham Mere. TL5773
  • Ug Mere TL2487
  • Ramsey Mere TL3189

In Jonas Moor's 'map of the Great Levell of the Fenns' of 1720, though Trundle Mere is not named, the above are all but one, included with the addition of:

  • Benwick Mere TL3489

In the interval, Stretham Mere had gone and the main features of the modern drainage pattern had appeared.

Ugg, Ramsey and Benwick meres do not show in the soil map. Others which do but which appear to have been drained before Saxton's mapping in 1576, are at:

  • TL630875
  • TL6884
  • TL5375
  • TL5898

The last appears to be the "mare 'Wide' vocatum" of Robert of Swaffham's version of the Hereward story (Chapter XXVI). If it is, it will have been in existence in the 1070s, when the events of the story took place.

Meres in the Netherlands

Meres similar to those of the English Fens but more numerous and extensive used to exist in the Netherlands, particularly in Holland. See Haarlemmermeer, for example. However, the Dutch word meer is used more generally than the English 'mere'. It means 'lake', as also seen in the name lakes containing meer in Northern Germany, e.g. Steinhuder Meer. When the Zuider Zee was enclosed and its saltwater became fresh, it changed its status from a sea (zee) to being known as the IJsselmeer, the lake into which the River IJssel flows.


  1. ^ English Etymology, T. F. Hoad, Oxford University Press
  2. ^ Das Herkunftswörterbuch, Duden Band 7, Dudenverlag.
  • Oxford English Dictionary (OED)
  • Ordnance Survey 1:50 000 Sheets 142 & 143
  • Macan, T.T. and Worthington, E.B. Life in Lakes and Rivers Fontana (1972) (M&W)
  • Crossley-Holland, K. The Poetry of Legend: Classics of the Medieval World Beowulf (1987) ISBN 0-85115-456-5 (C-H)
  • Soils of England and Wales, Sheet 4 Eastern England Soil Survey of England and Wales (1983) (Soil Map)
  • Saxton, C. Christopher Saxton's 16th Century Maps. The counties of England & Wales. With Introduction by William Ravenhill (Cambridgeshire map dated 1576 book 1992) ISBN 1-85310-354-3
  • Moor, J. A Map of the Great Levell of the Fenns Extending into ye Countyes of Norfolk, Suffolke, Northampton, Lincoln, Cambridge, Huntingdon and the Isle of Ely facsimile edition by Cambridgeshire Library Service (c1980s)
  • Swaffham, R. Gesta Herwardi (ca. 1260) (transcribed by S. H. Miller and translated by W. D. Sweeting (1895-7))
A Clockwork Orange (film)

A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film adapted, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on Anthony Burgess's novel A Clockwork Orange. It employs disturbing, violent images to comment on psychiatry, juvenile delinquency, youth gangs, and other social, political, and economic subjects in a dystopian near-future Britain.

Alex (Malcolm McDowell), the central character, is a charismatic, antisocial delinquent whose interests include classical music (including Beethoven), committing rape, and what is termed "ultra-violence". He leads a small gang of thugs, Pete (Michael Tarn), Georgie (James Marcus), and Dim (Warren Clarke), whom he calls his droogs (from the Russian word друг, "friend", "buddy"). The film chronicles the horrific crime spree of his gang, his capture, and attempted rehabilitation via an experimental psychological conditioning technique (the "Ludovico Technique") promoted by the Minister of the Interior (Anthony Sharp). Alex narrates most of the film in Nadsat, a fractured adolescent slang composed of Slavic (especially Russian), English, and Cockney rhyming slang.

The soundtrack to A Clockwork Orange features mostly classical music selections and Moog synthesizer compositions by Wendy Carlos. The artwork for the poster of A Clockwork Orange was created by Philip Castle with the layout by designer Bill Gold.


Bellemare (; French pronunciation: ​[bɛlmɑʁ]) is a Norman surname, that means "somebody from Bellemare", name of several hamlets in Normandy (± 20). It is also one of the most common family names in Mauricie, Quebec. It is a compound of French belle "nice, pretty" and mare "mere, lake, pond", Norman word of Old Norse origin marr "sea", finally borrowed from Norman by French around 1600 as "pond, puddle".


Buttermere is a lake in the English Lake District in North West England. The adjacent village of Buttermere takes its name from the lake. Historically in Cumberland, the lake is now within the county of Cumbria. It is owned by the National Trust, forming part of its Buttermere and Ennerdale property.

Delamere Way

The Delamere Way is a footpath running from Stockton Heath to Frodsham within the English county of Cheshire. The total length of the trail is 21 miles (34 km).

Eagles Mere Historic District

Eagles Mere Historic District is a national historic district in the mountain lake resort of Eagles Mere in Shrewsbury Township, Sullivan County, Pennsylvania. The resort area was founded in the late nineteenth century and popular through the first half of the twentieth century. It surrounds Eagles Mere Lake.

Gormire Lake

Gormire Lake is a natural lowland lake that lies at the foot of Whitestone Cliff, a western escarpment of the Hambleton Hills in the North York Moors National Park. The lake is 1.2 miles (2 km) east of the village of Sutton-under-Whitestonecliffe in North Yorkshire, England. Gormire has no inflow or major outflow of water. It is thought to be fed by an underground spring and drained by a limestone channel so the water finds a way out through the base of the cliff face to the east of the lake. The lake is also known as the White Mere, Lake Gormire, or more simply, Gormire. The name Gormire translates as filthy swamp.The lake was formed over 20,000 years ago by glacial erosion. When an ice sheet pushed its way between the Pennines and the North York Moors, it bulldozed the soft earth away and carved the cliffs at Whitestone and in turn the mud leftover stopped the water's egress and formed the glacial lake. Gormire Lake was a result of this process and is fourth largest of the natural lakes in Yorkshire (the other three being Hornsea Mere, Malham Tarn and Semerwater). The lake was first designated as an SSSI in 1954; however, in 1985 the area surrounding the lake was incorporated into the SSSI status with the new area being 133.5 acres (54.03 ha). The new designation incorporates the broadleaf woodlands of Garbutt Wood which encroach right up to the water's edge.The lake is the setting of several myths; one being of a knight known as Sir Harry Scriven who conned the Abbot of Rievaulx Abbey into letting him ride his horse (a white mare, the so called derivation of White Mare Cliff (another name for Whitestonecliff)). The knight and the abbot rode on from an inn and as they did so, it turned into a race. The abbot then changed into the devil, which caused such panic in the knight that he couldn't stop the horse and himself plunging into Gormire Lake from the clifftop. The 'devil' was then seen to jump into the lake after them and the boiling effect of the devil in the water is what is said to have caused the darkness of the lake to this day.Other myths are that the lake is bottomless, that the bottom of the lake is the entrance to hell, there is submerged village underneath the water and that a goose once disappeared in the lake to emerge in a well at Kirkbymoorside stripped of all its feathers.Gormire Lake is popular with wild swimmers as it has no streams feeding it so there is very little current and the waters are described as being 'warm'. Swimmers have reported that it is seething with leeches. The Times named the lake as one of the 20 best lakes and rivers in Britain for wild swimming.


Haslemere () is a town in the borough of Waverley in Surrey, England. It is north-east of the tripoint with Hampshire and West Sussex, approximately 12 miles (19 km) southwest of Guildford, and is the most southerly town in Surrey. The town is in the upper Wey (south branch) valley and east of the A3, the major road between London and Portsmouth.

The town's railway station is served by South Western Railway, with services between London Waterloo and Portsmouth, and there is a small commercial district with service and retail amenities.

The south branch of the River Wey rises to the south of the town, on Blackdown, West Sussex.


A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, that is surrounded by land, apart from any river or other outlet that serves to feed or drain the lake. Lakes lie on land and are not part of the ocean, and therefore are distinct from lagoons, and are also larger and deeper than ponds, though there are no official or scientific definitions. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams, which are usually flowing. Most lakes are fed and drained by rivers and streams.

Natural lakes are generally found in mountainous areas, rift zones, and areas with ongoing glaciation. Other lakes are found in endorheic basins or along the courses of mature rivers. In some parts of the world there are many lakes because of chaotic drainage patterns left over from the last Ice Age. All lakes are temporary over geologic time scales, as they will slowly fill in with sediments or spill out of the basin containing them.

Many lakes are artificial and are constructed for industrial or agricultural use, for hydro-electric power generation or domestic water supply, or for aesthetic, recreational purposes, or other activities.

List of municipalities in Sullivan County, Pennsylvania

Sullivan County, Pennsylvania, United States, is divided into 13 incorporated municipalities. State law defines the two kinds of municipalities present in the county: four boroughs and nine townships. In the 2010 census, the population of Sullivan County was 6,428, making it an "Eighth Class County", defined by Pennsylvania law as "having a population of less than 20,000 inhabitants". Its county seat is Laporte, which was the smallest county seat in Pennsylvania by population, as of 2001.Sullivan County is located in north central Pennsylvania, about 123 miles (198 km) northwest of Philadelphia and 195 miles (314 km) east-northeast of Pittsburgh. The county covers 452 square miles (1,170 km2), of which 450 square miles (1,165 km2) is land and 2 square miles (5.2 km2) (0.53%) is water. Its municipalities range in size from the borough of Dushore with 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2) to Davidson Township with 78.2 square miles (203 km2). Cherry Township has the highest population of any municipality (1,705 or 26.5% of the county total as of 2010), while the borough of Eagles Mere has the lowest population (120 or 1.9%).Although Sullivan County has boroughs and townships, it has no cities. Any municipality in Pennsylvania with more than 10 persons can incorporate as a borough. Any township or borough with a population of at least 10,000 can ask the state legislature to become chartered as a city. However, as Sullivan County has a population of only 6,428, it has no cities. There are no unincorporated areas in the county, since all territory in Pennsylvania is incorporated.

List of quadrant routes in Sullivan County, Pennsylvania

Quadrant Routes in Pennsylvania are maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. This article lists all the routes and their termini in Sullivan County. As is the case with the other counties in the state, the route numbers start in the northeast quadrant and go clockwise from the 1000s to the 4000s. Odd numbered roads travel south to north. Even numbered roads travel west to east. There is no explicit pattern for numbering order.

The north-south quadrant divider is not explicitly delineated. The east-west quadrant divider is US 220.

Long Beach, California

Long Beach is a city on the Pacific Coast of the United States, within the Los Angeles metropolitan area of Southern California. It is the 39th most populous city in the United States and the 7th most populous in California, with a population of 462,257 in 2010. A charter city, it is the second largest city in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, and the third in Southern California behind Los Angeles and San Diego.

Incorporated in 1897, Long Beach lies in the southeastern corner of Los Angeles County and borders Orange County. Downtown Long Beach is approximately 22 miles (35 km) south of downtown Los Angeles, though the two cities share an official border for several miles. The Port of Long Beach is the second busiest container port in the United States and is among the world's largest shipping ports. The city is over an oilfield with minor wells both directly beneath the city as well as offshore. The aerospace industry continues to play an important role.

The city is known for its waterfront attractions, including the permanently docked RMS Queen Mary and the Aquarium of the Pacific. Long Beach also hosts the Grand Prix of Long Beach, currently an IndyCar race. The California State University, Long Beach, one of the largest universities in California by enrollment, is located in the city.

Marton Mere Local Nature Reserve

Marton Mere is a mere (lake) and Local Nature Reserve in Blackpool, Lancashire, England. It is located near to the Blackpool districts of Marton and Mereside and the village of Staining. It is recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It supports various habitats such as open water, reed beds, grassland as well as pockets of woodland and scrub.The mere is a glacial freshwater lake. Originally approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) long and 1 mile (1.6 km) wide, the lake was gradually drained throughout the 18th century to allow land to be reclaimed for agriculture. It was drained further when Main Dyke was cut around 1850.The reserve is adjacent to Marton Mere Holiday Village.


Mortimer is an English surname.

Muncy Creek

Muncy Creek (also known as Big Muncy Creek) is a tributary of the West Branch Susquehanna River in Sullivan County and Lycoming County, in Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is approximately 34.5 miles (55.5 km) long. The watershed of the creek has an area of 216 square miles (560 km2). The creek's discharge averages 49 cubic feet per second (1.4 m3/s) at Sonestown, but can be up to a thousand times higher at Muncy. The headwaters of the creek are on the Allegheny Plateau. Rock formations in the watershed include the Chemung Formation and the Catskill Formation.

There are a number of lakes in the watershed of Muncy Creek, including Eagles Mere Lake, Highland Lake, and Beaver Lake. The creek was known as Occohpocheny to Native Americans. The area in its vicinity was settled in 1783. Various other industries and mills were constructed in the creek's vicinity from the late 18th century to the early 20th century. Wild trout naturally reproduce in part of Muncy Creek. Part of the creek is navigable by canoe.

Pennsylvania Route 42

Pennsylvania Route 42 (PA 42) is a 58.6-mile-long (94.3 km) state route located in central Pennsylvania. The southern terminus of the route is at Pennsylvania Route 61 in Centralia. The northern terminus is at U.S. Route 220 in Laporte. In Beech Glen, Sullivan County, it concurs with U.S. 220, loops through Eagles Mere and meets U.S. 220 farther north in Laporte at its northern terminus.

Until 1999, Pennsylvania Route 54 was also present at the southern terminus of PA 42.


Pitsunda or Bichvinta (Georgian: ბიჭვინთა [bitʃʼvintʰɑ] (listen); Abkhazian: Пиҵунда; Russian: Пицунда) is a resort town in the Gagra district of Abkhazia, Georgia.


Semerwater is the second largest natural lake in North Yorkshire, England, after Malham Tarn. It is half a mile (800 m) long, covers 100 acres (0.40 km2) and lies in Raydale, opposite England's shortest river the River Bain. A private pay and display parking area is at the foot of the lake.

Semerwater attracts canoers, windsurfers, yachtsmen and fishermen. There are three small settlements nearby:

Stalling Busk


MarsettSemerwater was the subject of a number of sketches and paintings by the artist J M W Turner.Semerwater is a pleonastic place name. The name, first recorded in 1153, derives from the Old English elements sæ 'lake', mere 'lake' and water. The form "Lake Semerwater" introduces a fourth element with the same meaning.

The lake is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, first notified in 1975.

Sleaford Mere

Sleaford Mere (alternative name: Kuyabidni) is a permanent saline lake, located on the Jussieu Peninsula on the south eastern tip of Eyre Peninsula in South Australia about 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) south west of Port Lincoln. The lake was discovered and named by the British explorer, Matthew Flinders, on 26 February 1802. Since 1969, the lake has been part of the Sleaford Mere Conservation Park and since 2005, it has been listed as a nationally important wetland. The lake and its environs are notable as a venue for recreational pursuits such as canoeing.

Woolston, Cheshire

Formerly a township within the parish of Warrington, and now a parish in its own right, Woolston-with-Martinscroft consists of two settlements: Woolston to the west and Martinscroft to the east, which run along the north bank of the River Mersey and take in Paddington to the south-west. It is bounded by the River Mersey to the south, Bruche and Padgate to the west, Longbarn and Birchwood to the north and Rixton to the east.

The township remained an agricultural community on the furthest outskirts of Warrington until the 1970s, when development by Warrington New Town radically transformed its rural character. With the construction of the M6 motorway on its eastern side, Martinscroft lost its previous status as the main village centre. The mosses to the north were covered by the Grange Employment Estate and the last remaining farm was demolished in the late 1990s.

The parish is generally known as Woolston only. It is now a residential suburb of Warrington, popular with families, and known mostly to wildlife enthusiasts for its proximity to several nature reserves and SSSIs (Site of Special Scientific Interest). The Mersey Way long-distance footpath runs along the river bank.

Classification systems

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