Home Wood Medieval Fishponds, Northill

The largely undisturbed fishery complex in Home Wood is exceptionally well preserved, retaining visible evidence of all the major components which made up the stock and water management systems on the site. The complex is believed to have been attached to the medieval estate of Northill Manor which was probably about half a mile away towards the east. Fishponds were used from the medieval period onwards so that protein from fish could replace fresh meat that was difficult obtain during the winter.

The earthworks in Home Wood include evidence for the establishment of a sizeable artificial warren alongside the fishpond complex. The tradition of constructing artificial warrens dates from the 12th century, following the introduction of rabbits into England from the continent.

The earliest record of these fishponds is a map of 1781 made for John Harvey around the time of the enclosure.

Images: Snowdrops on walk around Northill Home Wood Medieval Fishery (Photo by Chris Deverell)