Virginia Water

From Academic Kids

Virginia Water is a village in Surrey in the United Kingdom. The village is named after a lake of the same name in the nearby Windsor Great Park. A lake of that name has existed from at least the 17th century and may well be named for Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen, although this is not certain.

Virginia Water lake was begun in 1746 by William, Duke of Cumberland who was then Ranger of the Park. Few details are recorded of the building of the lake, however it has been suggested that Prisoners-of-war from the recent Jacobite wars, who were encamped at the nearby Breakheart Hill, were involved. The original lake was much smaller than the current form, and was destroyed in a flood in 1768. In 1780 Paul and Thomas Sandby began construction of a much larger lake at the site, and went on the add an artificial waterfall, Meadow Pond and Obelisk Pond. The lake is probably named after Queen Elizabeth I, who was known as the Virgin Queen, however it is not known why they should have named it after a Monarch of 150 years before.

Virginia Water village has an adult population of 4,814. The village's residents are more elderly and substantially more wealthy, on average, than the nation as a whole [1] (http://www.newspapersoc.org.uk/database/reports/locationdetail.cfm?locationid=1079). Many of the village's houses are large detached homes situated on the private Wentworth Estate close to the famous Wentworth Golf Club. Wentworth is also home to the headquarters of the PGA European Tour, the world's second-richest professional golf tour (after the USA's PGA TOUR). The estate hit the headlines in 1998 when General Augusto Pinochet was kept under house arrest in one of its houses prior to his extradition [2] (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/225567.stm).

Virginia Water is home to many commuters. It is close to the M25 and M3 motorways. The village also has a railway station on the line between London Waterloo and Reading. Heathrow Airport is located eight miles to the north-east. The village supports two rows of shops, although many inhabitants travel to the nearby towns of Staines, Ascot and Windsor for shopping. The towns of Egham, Englefield Green and Old Windsor are also nearby.

Virginia Water is noted by bird-watchers [3] (http://www.birdguides.com/html/vidlib/species/Aix_galericulata.htm) as the best place in the country for viewing feral Mandarin Ducks.

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