A regional pollution history has been reconstructed for the borough of Halton (northwest England) from four urban ponds in north Cheshire and south Merseyside, using environmental analyses of lake sediment stratigraphies. Mineral magnetism, geochemistry and radiometric dating have produced profiles of pollution characteristics dating from the mid-nineteenth century to present day. These pollution profiles reflect the atmospheric deposition of a range of pollutants over 150 years of intensified industry. Distinct phases of pollution deposition and characteristics are identified reflecting: (1) intensification of industry in the nineteenth century; (2) expansion of industry during the twentieth century; (3) post 1956 Clean Air Acts. This work promotes the potential use of these pollution archives for use in epidemiology to better understand links between human health and environmental pollution, especially for diseases with long latency times, where retrospective pollution exposure assessments are important.