Record Details

NHER Number:48209
Type of record:Building
Name:The Swan Pit and sluice, The Great Hospital, Bishopsgate


This swan pit with attached sluices dates to the late 18th century but was restored in the late 19th century and altered again in the 20th century. It takes the form of a large rectangular pool with brick sides. At both eastern corners are brick paved ramps. Attached to the north a stone sided channel with two 19th century sluice gates which link the pit with the River Wensum. The sluices ensure that the pit is filled at high tide, and not allowed to empty at low tide. This very rare 'swan pit' was used for the breeding of local swans for the Master of the Great Hospital, Norwich, who since medieval times had the right to cull swans and provide them for feasts.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 23780 09120
Map Sheet:TG20NW

Full description

The Swan Pit and Sluice, The Great Hospital.
A very rare example of late 18th century date.

September 1991. Watching Brief.
Swan Pit drained.
Observed pit constructed entirely of brick.
See notes (S1) for further details.
Previously recorded under NHER 624.
B. S. Ayers (NAU), 20 September 1991. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 24 January 2018.

2002. Listed Grade II.
Listing Description:
"Swan pit and attached sluice. Late 18th century, restored late 19th century with 20th-century alteration. Painted brick. Large rectangular pool with brick sides, those to north, west and south of late 18th century painted brick. The east wall was rebuilt in stock brick in late 19th century”.
Information from (S2).
Please consult the National Heritage List for England (S1) for the current listing details.
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 24 January 2018. Amended by A. Beckham (HES), 8 November 2019.

February 2002.
For a detailed analysis of the history and development of the Swan pit see (S3).
H. White (NLA), 28 May 2009.

Monument Types

  • PIT (18th Century to 21st Century - 1760 AD to 2100 AD)
  • SLUICE (18th Century to 21st Century - 1760 AD to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Designation: English Heritage. 1990-2013. English Heritage Listing Notification. Notification. DNF8041.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Percival, S. 1991. [Notes on watching brief at The Swan Pit, The Great Hospital, Norwich].
<S2>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1360781.
<S3>Unpublished Contractor Report: [Unknown]. 2002. The Swan Pit and its Sluice, Great Hospital, Norwich. Analysis of the History and Development. Wilson Compton Associates.

Related records

624Part of: Precinct of the Great Hospital (Monument)

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