Clapton Pond is a pond and garden, located in Hackney, east London. The name ‘Clapton’ or ‘farm on the hill’ is derived from the Old English words ‘clop’, meaning a lump or hill, and ‘ton’, meaning a farm. For centuries the land was owned by the Bishops of London, and occupied by tenant farmers who grew hay and food for the City of London. The villages of Lower and Upper Clapton lay on either side of Clapton Lane, which later became the Lower and Upper Clapton Roads. Lying about halfway between the two villages was Clapton Pond, fed by a natural spring. This would have been used to irrigate the land, and supply water for the farmers and their animals.
By the late 18th century Clapton had become a fashionable place to live, with many fine country houses built for the rich merchants of London. Huguenot and Jewish communities also moved into the area, helping to develop Clapton into a prosperous neighbourhood. In the 19th century Clapton turned from being a sleepy backwater into a bustling London suburb and many of its grand houses were demolished to provide land for new homes. This rapid growth was increased by the opening of Clapton Railway Station in 1872, and the arrival of the tramways. By the 1890s, the houses on Thistlewaite, Newick, Mildenhall and Millfields Roads had been built, supplying much needed housing for newcomers.