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ABBOTS FISH HOUSE

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  MEARE FISH HOUSE
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The Abbot's Fish House (or Meare Fish House as it is also known) is situated on level ground immediately south of the River Brue. It is a medieval stone building, with later phases of alteration and restoration, of rectangular plan which originally comprised two storeys, using finely cut blue lias ashlar. It measures 12.4 metres long by 6.6 metres wide and is now believed to have been the on-site residence of an offical in charge of fisheries under the control of the nearby Glastonbury Abbey. The ground floor has three rooms, the central room being the largest. Access at this level is provided to the central room from the south west side of the building and into the northern room from the north west side. The upper storey was destroyed by fire in the 19th century. The Fish House is believed to have been constructed in 1322-1335; later Medieval alterations were made, possibly in the 15th century. There were also post medieval alterations, and the building may have been used for agricultural purposes for part of the period. The building became derelict by about 1850, though some attempt at resoration was made before 1866 by a local society. The chimney and garderobe were demolished, probably after a fire of 1883. It is thought that the building was in use as a corn store at the time and was burnt by labourers. Although some repairs to the walls were made about 1893, the building was roffless for some time. Restoration work was carried out in the 1920 and the 1960s with further conservation repairs made around 2002. Surrounding the Fish House and surviving as earthworks are a series of rectilinear fish ponds measuring about 20 - 30 metres long by 5 metres wide. The ponds may possibly pre-date the Fish House since the Domesday Survey of 1086 records the presence of three fisheries and ten fishermen at Meare. The Fish House is in the care of English Heritage.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the Historic England website.