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Duck decoy, 770m SSE of Gold Corner Bridge

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Duck decoy, 770m SSE of Gold Corner Bridge

List entry Number: 1014858

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Somerset

District: Sedgemoor

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Cossington

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 06-Mar-1996

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 27964

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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 at Cossington survives as a good example of its class. 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 cutting.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a well preserved duck decoy pool, located on the Somerset Moors, 2km north east of the village of Cossington, in the Brue Valley. A square central pool is visually the most obvious part of the monument, reputed to be 1m deep, with slightly raised banks on the south, east and north separating the pool from the surrounding water-logged pasture. The pool is approximately 60m square, with an irregular south bank much overgrown by trees and brambles. There are four pipes which extend north and south from each corner, between 30m and 38m in length. Those visible had the typical curving horn shape and were over 5m wide at the mouth. Two small islands can be seen in the north west quadrant of the pool. A linear water filled hollow to the south indicates the position of a possible outlet/supply channel. The enclosure rhyne remains in use and is not included in the scheduling; the field layout indicates that it was not constructed as a part of the original decoy. The decoy is evident from aerial photographs of 1947 and 1971. The complete decoy is shown on the 1886 OS map, marked as a decoy pool in a wooded/marshy area, with Decoy Rhyne running on the west boundary. 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.

Selected Sources

Other
CPE/UK/1924, no 1051, (1947)
Run 37, 1642, November 1971, (1971)
Title: Ordnance Survey sheet 39/14 Source Date: 1886 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

National Grid Reference: ST 37036 42486

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. 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 - 1014858 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 24-Nov-2017 at 05:03:14.

End of official listing