Hargham, Norfolk

Client Brief

This award winning stylish converted barn set in the most spectacular parkland landscape is home to Sally and Tom Beevor. Settings for swimming ponds do not come much more perfect than this.

The brief was straight forward (despite us misinterpreting it initially). It essentially comprised the design and construction of a swimming pond that related well to the landscape and complimented their beautiful home. Tom and Sally envisaged the sound of running water and felt emphasis should be placed on bold and imaginative planting. Since being able to dive into the water was not a consideration, it was felt that a maximum depth of 1.5m grading gently down from 1.2m would be ideal (having a relatively shallow swimming area also meant that the water would warm up more quickly). In order to top up the swimming pond, rainwater harvesting was also to be considered during the design phase.

The Design

The inspiration for the design came from the desire to make the most of the stunning views to the north of the barn. This thought process lead to the length of the swimming pond being designed along an east to west axis running parallel to the barn.

A large chunky green oak deck sits over the regeneration zone with the front edge dropping off into the swimming area. Not only is it extremely pleasant to see the water reflecting though the gaps in the timber that make up the deck, but the magnificent views are further enhanced by being able to look over the water in the foreground. The sound of running water that emits from the flowform water feature adds a further dimension to a relaxing experience. An existing gangway connects the barn to the deck.

The 60m² regeneration zone surrounds the 50m² deeper swimming zone, which has a maximum depth of 1.5m. The effect is to swim with reeds towering above and the leaves of lilies extending out onto the edge of the deeper water, visually breaking up the line of the internal wall that separates to 2 zones. The majority of the aquatic plants are native and therefore more beneficial to local wildlife.

Roof water from the barn can be easily redirected to enter the swimming pond if a top up is required. A filter was added to prevent leaves entering the water.

A skimmer has been positioned to receive any surface debris pushed toward it by the prevailing wind. The immediate area of the skimmer is free of tall plants, which allows the swimmer a glimpse of the distant vista. A series of 3 large flat stones have been placed between the skimmer and the edge of the swimming zone, which really does look quite effective viewed from the deck.


We are delighted with our recently completed swimming pond. 

“It has been beautifully constructed with the minimum of disruption by a very skillful and experienced team.

The attention to detail is impressive and the resultant sophistication of the system designed to ensure hassle-free maintenance will be a blessing.

We now have a beautiful, natural looking pond that is glorious to swim in and a haven for wildlife – what a perfect combination!”

Tom and Sally Beevor