The Fishing House of Charles Cotton, Beresford Dale


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1006110

Date first listed: 12-Nov-1931


Ordnance survey map of The Fishing House of Charles Cotton, Beresford Dale
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Staffordshire

District: Staffordshire Moorlands (District Authority)

Parish: Alstonefield

National Park: PEAK DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: SK 12740 59223


Charles Cotton’s Fishing House, 500m north of Beresford Cottage.

Reasons for Designation

Charles Cotton’s fishing house is a unique building designed specifically for the sport of angling. It was an elaborate building in relation to its simple function, an expression of Cotton’s dedication to angling and to his entertainment of fellow anglers. Izaak Walton and Cotton’s The Compleat Angler was significant in the development and diversification of the sport from the 17th century. The fishing house is a fine preservation of Charles Cotton’s angling endeavours and its association with the popular work The Compleat Angler makes it of national significance.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 10 June 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes a 17th century fishing house on the western bank of a loop in the River Dove, in Beresford Dale, one kilometre south of Hartington. The fishing house is a single cell building, square in plan, and built in an Artisan Mannerist style. It is of coursed and squared rubble with ashlar quoins and dressings and a pyramidal stone slate roof, with transomed windows, latticed lights and wooden shutters. At its entrance three steps lead to a central double leaved door flanked by pilasters with round heads and a raised keystone inscribed above the door with the intertwined initials I.W. and C.C. The initials refer to Charles Cotton who built the fishing house in 1674 dedicated to anglers which lay within the grounds of his residence at Beresford Hall. The other initials refer to Izaak Walton, the author of The Compleat Angler, who is known to have fished with Charles Cotton at this location. Charles Cotton wrote a section on fly-fishing in The Compleat Angler in 1676 in which the fishing house is featured and contains a description of the building. The building is also a Grade II* listed building, NHLE 1188084.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: ST 18

Legacy System: RSM - OCN


Pastscape 307901, HER DST5875 and NMR SK 15 NW5

End of official listing