Blue Lagoon / Nunthorpe Quarry / Langbaugh Quarry / Donkey Pond / Lonsdale Quarry

This is something that gets commented on again and again, even many years after my original post on one of the locations. I think the main reason for all the confusion is there are at least three sites, all in disused whinstone quarries, all look similar.
The name ‘Blue Lagoon’ never appears on maps either so your ‘Blue Lagoon’ might not be someone elses ‘Blue Lagoon’

I believe the location most people who visited in the 1970’s would have known as the Blue Lagoon was around Langbaugh Quarry and Nunthorpe Quarry, between Great Ayton and Nunthorpe, now the location of the Whinstone View Bistro.
The 1970s OS map shows three pools here, which also ties in with peoples recollections of being able to dive under the water and emerge in other areas.
This location no longer exists, it was filled in, as you can see from aerial views today.

In more recent times people have started to call the Donkey Pond the ‘Blue Lagoon’, this is about 0.5 mile E of the Gribdale Gate car park, also an old whinstone quarry.
Donkey Pond, Gribdale, Flooded Whinstone Workings

The third location is Lonsdale Quarry which is on private property about 0.5 miles NE of Kildale. This location was used by Jack Hatfield to practice swimming for the 1912 Olympics.


Here’s a recent photo by a friend who had permission to visit.

Over the years i’ve picked up a couple of photos, its hard to say which location is which and i’m afraid I don’t recall where I got them from so if they are yours let me know so I can credit you.
Blue LagoonRay Simpson between Great Ayton and Nunthorpe 1958 / 59
Blue Lagoon2

16 thoughts on “Blue Lagoon / Nunthorpe Quarry / Langbaugh Quarry / Donkey Pond / Lonsdale Quarry

  1. Interested to see the reference to the blue lagoon, but was expecting something relating to the unusually coloured pools found amongst the slag heaps of South Gare.
    Are they still the same milky turquoise colour they were in the 90’s, or have they been cleaned up?

  2. The black and white photo of the man on the rocks is me, It was taken on the Blue Lagoon somewhere between Ayton and Nunthorpe, approx 1958 /59, I used to go fishing there.

  3. I used to play around the area of the blue lagoon also known as dicks hairs I don’t know why,we used to play around the quarry and also a place called bradleys quarry across the road in the early 70s , my grandfather used to work there from a boy till the 1930s in the wainstone mines ,he started work there before and after the first world war ,he was in the royal artillery during the 1914-18 war.

    • I was amused to read about ‘Dicks hairs’. No doubt this is reference to Dave Sayer, better known as Dick who, I believe has lived at Quarry House most if not all his life. Quarry House is on the A173 where the road crosses the line of the quarries. As stated, the Blue Lagoon existed behind Whinstone View Bistro slightly toward Nunthorpe and was said to be bottomless! Just as well it’s been filled in. The flooded quarry at Kildale was known as ‘Fern Deep’ to us locals back in the 50s/60s

      • Got photos of fern deep but can’t find it on any walks or maps . We used to call the donkey pond little fern deep??. Anyone know how to find Fern deep ??

    • Chris has identified all the sites correctly. The Blue Lagoon was at Round Hill near the site of the Whinstone View Bistro but Dick Sayer’s Pond was a different place altogether. Dick Sayer lived at Quarry House, now occupied by his son David, and the field adjoining the house is part of an area called Dingledow. In 1856 there were two small whinstone quarries known as Dingledow Quarry in this field. Once quarrying ended the one furthest from the house, and right next to the track called Thief Lane, became flooded and was known as Dick Sayer’s Pond. The pond was only a few feet deep and I never saw anyone use it for swimming or fishing. The Dingledow quarries were filled in by David in the 90’s and today there is nothing to see but a grassy field.

  4. Blue lagoon. Oh what memoirs. Fishing swimming. It was an adventure play ground away from the rest of the world. Of course the main big pool was bottomless ,well every one new that.You could climb, slid, look down look up, and imagine what was underneath that freezing cold dark water.Jack Hadfield had tried to find the bottom but failed.He ran a sports shop in Middlesbrough and presumably had breathing equipment to use or how else would he know the big blue lagoon was bottomless.Your imagination could run riot.I always met other people there, just wondering around having fun.The large lagoon was connected to the second lagoon via an underwater tunnel, this was a fact of course. Oh happy days. But oh what memoirs. Cheers.

  5. always remember the blue lagoon when i was a kid it was a scary place and can always remember being told it was bottomless, we used to jump in from about 20 feet high missing trees that where hanging from the side into the water lol

  6. In the late 1950’s, as a Boy Scout, we used to hike from around Little Ayton towards Capt. Cook’s Monument and beyond.
    We always stopped at the infamous Blue Lagoon en route so this would suggest the our Blue Lagoon was actually the ‘Donkey Pond’ though I never heard it called this and it would confirm that the confusion was established many many years ago!

  7. the blue lagoon was over the ridge and it was blue for some reason. it was smaller than the first pond and the legend was that it was bottomless.apparentley an old man fell off the cliff on a horse and cart and that’s where the donkey pond came from

  8. Interesting stories. I have recently found photos of my grand father, father & friends swimming at Lonsdale Quarry from 1942. They called it “The Retreat “. There was a decent sized cabin to change in and shelter. I have made the assumption that this may have been one of the railway structures left over after the quarry branch closed.

  9. it %100 was absolutely beautiful and i had the privilege of knowing the owners of the land and i have many beautiful photographs of me on the rocks beside the water taken by the daughter of the family. They were fantastic people and i have looked for many years to contact my friend, but to no avail, the sister was the coolest girl who drove a spitfire, They lived in the home closest to the lagoon, it was such a shame as it was stunning but filling it in would be right as the family were so lovely they most probably worried about safety above all, they definitely could have made a lot of money owning it, if anyone knows about the family please contact me. x

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