Thursday, 26 April 2007

Medieval Fishpools

Last year we had a local archaelogist visit the farm to look at what we believed were fishpools in the wood, aptly named Fishpool Wood! The report is now on the Historic Herefordshire On-line website - see what they say:

A series of three, probably medieval, fishponds are located within a small valley on the Catley Brook. The woodland was known as Fishpool Coppice on the Castle Frome tithe map of 1841. The three ponds have been created by the construction of three large dams and modification of the valley sides. The top (northernmost) dam (SO 6781 4545) is about 30m long, 10m wide and a maximum of 2.5m high. It is the most rounded of the three dams and the pond is the most silted up, which suggests this pool went out of use prior to the lower two. The middle dam (SO 6785 4540) is 40m long, 10m wide and a maximum of 2.5m high. The bottom dam (SO 6791 4533) is the longest at about 50m long, 10m wide and a maximum of 4m high. A bypass channel, 3m wide and about 0.5m deep, runs along the west side of the ponds. The channel becomes more incised below the bottom dam, where it is 2m deep. A woodbank follows the west side of the fishponds, separating the fishpond area out from the woodland area.The fishponds are likely to have been constructed in the medieval period and been associated with the medieval motte and bailey 800m to the northeast, as they occupy the nearest suitable site to the castle. Their size and the relationship with the woodbank support this interpretation. The lower two dams are still well defined, suggesting use after the medieval period. They have gone out of use by the production of the tithe map in 1841, as the Catley Brook is shown without a broadening in the location of the ponds.The fishponds are in an area of deciduous woodland, a mix of natural regeneration and coppice management. The dams are all breached and the Catley Brook has an incised course through the silted up ponds. (1)

Very exciting - and lots of poultrydiscussion here at Hill Farm as a result.

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