Record Details

NHER Number:35111
Type of record:Monument
Name:Post medieval fishponds and 'maggerack', west of Hempstead Marshes


The site of post medieval fishponds and 'maggerack', a maggot production method, is located within a triangular portion of woodland north of Sea Palling Road, Ingham. The site consists of the earthwork remains of a circular mound and encircling moat or pond, three elongated oblong ponds and associated drainage ditches. This site is visible on aerial photographs and has been visited on the ground. This site has alternatively been interpreted as a medieval swannery, wildfowl rearing pond, motte, mill mound or tumulus.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 4081 2662
Map Sheet:TG42NW

Full description

February 2000. Visit.
Situated in a small triangular wood, North of Sea Palling Road.
Mound is circular around 12m diameter, slightly higher than adjacent land. Surrounded by a wet ditch around 4.5 m wide. To south a T-shaped shallow linear feature. Site is shown on (S1).
H. Paterson (A&E), 28 February 2000.

November 2004.
Visit accompanied by Tom Williamson (UEA) and UEA students to try and determine age and nature of site. Tumulus, motte or mill mound though unlikely. Possibly corral for ducks/geese to protect from predators, probably post-medieval.
H. Paterson (A&E), 30 November 2004.

February 2005.
Site is thought to be a 'maggerack'. Mesh would be spread on poles, carrion allowed to fester, maggots would then drop through as a source for fish food in ponds. Grandfathers of aged locals worked here in 1880s.
H. Paterson (A&E) 15 February 2005.

September 2005. Norfolk NMP.
The earthworks of a circular mound and encircling pond, three elongated oblong ponds and drainage ditches are visible on aerial photographs within a triangular portion of woodland in Ingham (S2)-(S3). This site is almost certainly nineteenth century in date, possibly as early as the mid 1840s judging from the available map evidence, and has recently been interpreted as being a series of fishponds above which racks and mesh holding carrion were arranged to produce maggots. A similar set of earthworks are visible on aerial photographs to the east of this, see NHER 43640 for details.

The circular mound is centred on TG 4080 2660 and measures approximately 12m in diameter (S3). This measurement is consistent with the ground observations stated above, however the width of the encircling moat or pond does vary significantly. The water-filled pond appears to be 8 to 9m across in 1943 (S2), it is recorded as being half this width in 2000. This suggests that considerable silting and vegetation encroachment as occurred since the site has gone out of use. It is interesting to note that the measurements taken from the 1943 aerial photographs are consistent with the size of the circular site on the Ordnance Survey Second Edition map (1902 to 1907, 25 inch) (S1). This indicates that the site must have been being used or at least maintained during this period, otherwise a greater amount of encroachment would be expected. In 1943 the site appears to be relatively clear from trees and scrub, possibly indicating relatively recent use or maintenance (S2). The water level within the circular moat/pond is sufficiently high that that the central mound cannot be distinguished from the surrounding water (S2). By the 1946 trees and vegetation has encroached along the edged of the ponds significantly (S3) and the water level is sufficiently low that the central circular mound is distinguishable from the surrounding pond.

To the immediate south of the circular mound is an oblong or rectangular pond, measuring 40m by 8m. Along the eastern edge of the triangular site are another two oblong/rectangular ponds. The northern one measures 57m by 10m and the southern one 59m by 8.5m. Along the southern boundary to the site are two L-shaped drains running down towards the Palling Road. A smaller T-shaped drainage system is visible to the immediate north of the circular mound and moat.

On the Ordnance Survey Second Edition map (1902-7, 25 inch) the circular mound and pond, plus all three elongated oblong ponds are marked (S1). However the two eastern parallel ponds are depicted using a thin dashed line, as opposed to the more definite mapping of the circular pond and southern pit. The alignment of these elongated ponds is also noticeably wrong, when compared with the remaining earthworks, which could suggest features being sketched in and not being considered an integral part of the site at the time of the survey. Within these dashed lines vegetation is also depicted, suggesting that these areas have become overgrown, perhaps indicating an earlier element to the site, no longer in use and being maintained. However these ponds are clearly visible as water filled ponds in 1943 (S3). Although it is interesting to note that these ponds do not appear at all on the Ordnance Survey First Edition map (1879-1886, 6") (S4), this may be a product of the different scale of mapping and detail. A rectilinear hut or structure, measuring approximately 9m by 4m, is marked on both maps at TG 4081 2656. It must be assumed that the hut is associated with working of the site. This structure has been removed by the 1940s (S2)-(S3). None of the earthworks are marked on the Ingham Tithe map, undated but probably around 1840’s (S5), although the rectangular structure is present, This would suggest that fishpond site existing by this period, but the earthworks were not of relevance to the survey. There is no obvious sign of the site on the 1823 Ingham Enclosure map (S6), the triangular portion of land is faintly marked, although it appears to be treated as being part of the land adjacent to the west.
S. Massey (NMP), 31 September 2005.

Monument Types

  • MOAT? (Unknown date)
  • DRAIN (Post Medieval to 21st Century - 1540 AD to 2100 AD)
  • FISH FARM (Post Medieval to 21st Century - 1540 AD to 2100 AD)
  • FISHPOND (Post Medieval to 21st Century - 1540 AD to 2100 AD)
  • MOUND (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Management Statement

Sources and further reading

---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2004. 'Duck pond' turns out to be a moat. 8 December.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-1907. Ordnance Survey Second Edition 25" (1902-1907) Sheet XL.3.
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1943. RAF AC/161 5138-9 04-JAN-1943 (NMR).
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 5096-7 09-JUL-1946 (NMR).
<S4>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1879-1886. Ordnance Survey First Edition 6" (1879-1886). Sheet XLI.3.
<S5>Map: Ingham Tithe Map. 1 inch: 6 chains.
<S8>Map: Pratt, R.. 1823. Ingham Enclosure Map.

Related records

43640Related to: Site of possible post medieval fishponds (Monument)

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