Duck decoy 1km south east of Manor Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014442

Date first listed: 20-May-1996


Ordnance survey map of Duck decoy 1km south east of Manor Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1014442 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 19-Dec-2018 at 13:43:53.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Somerset

District: Mendip (District Authority)

Parish: Godney

National Grid Reference: ST 47776 41530


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Decoy ponds are artificially created or modified pools of water onto which wildfowl were lured to be trapped and killed for food and for feathers. They consist of a central pool off which lead a number of curving arms or ditches, known as pipes. Nets were constructed over the narrowing ends of these pipes towards which the birds were lured by the decoyman and his dog. Screens were erected along the sides of the pipes with carefully placed gaps so that the dog would be visible to the birds only when his appearance would lead the birds towards the nets at the ends of the pipes. Once at the ends the nets would be dropped and the decoyman was able to wring the birds' necks. The tradition of constructing such ponds appears to have begun in the medieval period, with the simplest designs indicating an early date. The more familiar decoy pond, however, is said to have originated in Holland and to have been introduced into England in the 17th century. The word `decoy' is said to derive from the Dutch `eendenkooi' meaning `duck cage'. Their greatest popularity came in the 18th and 19th centuries when large numbers were built, with a small number continuing in use until World War II. The ideal size for a decoy pond was between 1ha and 5ha with a depth of water of not more than a metre. The number of pipes varies from one to more than five, often arranged in symmetrical patterns around the central pool. Although once common features of lowland England (being particularly associated with the east and south east coasts), modern drainage has modified or destroyed all but a few examples. Most examples which survive in a near-complete state of preservation will be considered of national importance and worthy of protection.

The decoy 1km south east of Manor Farm exists as a good example of its type, having low earthworks and a clear ground layout. It lies within the Somerset Levels and Moors, a wetland area of high archaeological value, which has seen rapid landscape change over the past 200 years as a result of drainage and intensive peat extraction.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes the earthwork remains of a duck decoy, located within the Somerset Levels and Moors, on East Waste in the Brue River valley. The decoy is within a sub-rectangular field, bordered to the south and east by Waste Rhyne. The decoy has six pipes, three extending symmetrically from each of the north and south ends. These are visible as curving waterlogged depressions up to 50m in length, narrowing away from their 5m width at the entrance to the square pond site. The two north west pipes curve to the east, and the two south east pipes curve to the west. The pond is 45m-50m square with rushes being the predominant vegetation. The rushes also grow in the wetter pipes and help to define their position. There would appear to be evidence for an enclosure rhyne within the field, as there is a filled in ditch to the east, south and west which respects the decoy, and encloses it within an oval boundary. To the outside of this boundary, the field has been drained, but the decoy has not. There is a possible inlet channel on the west side of the pond. Earthworks are slight, being a maximum of 0.2m high. There is a group of trees adjacent to the central southern pipe, which appears to stand in a flooded hollow. The decoy is reported to have been in existence by 1736. It shows as a crop mark on a 1947 aerial photograph. A road to the south east of the monument is called Decoy Pool Road. Excluded from the scheduling are all modern fences and posts, though the ground beneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number: 27983

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Ley, IB, Somerset Duck Decoys, (1977)
1062, CPE/UK 1924 16.1.47, (1947)
SMR entry 24266,

End of official listing