Bromley Town Centre Park Trail – Stop 1/3 (Moat)

Previous | Next

Medieval Moat (and fish ponds)

weedy pond of stagnant water surrounded by trees

This lake is the ‘Moat’ of the Bishops Palace, it originally encircled the Palace buildings. By the 1700s it was quite fragmented but there was still a string of fish ponds along the spring line – we know because they were itemised when the palace was sold in the 16th Century Commonwealth.  Most high-ranking Lords and Ladies would have fish ponds conveniently close to their Manor houses, usually 3 or 4, or even 6 in some cases.

There was 150 days a year that the Church calendar stipulated that no meat should be consumed, so fish was eaten on those days instead. The household accounts of the 14th Century Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield have survived. These show that the household ate more sea fish than fresh-water fish (despite them having to travel quite a way) but that he paid more for the fresh-water fish.

Pike (a native predatory fish) were sometimes given as rent, or gifts. They are recorded to have been kept in fishponds.

a medieval pen-and-ink drawing of a beaver with a fish for a tail
Medieval illustration of a beaver, with a very fishy looking tail – beavers could be eaten on fish days.
Colourisation of a 1908 postcard of the Moat with the Boathouse (the ruins are behind a fallen tree) and the Palace.

To continue the Heritage Trail, carry on walking down the Carriage Drive.

This entry was posted in Green Space - Palace Park, Item in the Parks Heritage Trail and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Bromley Town Centre Park Trail – Stop 1/3 (Moat)

  1. Pingback: The Palace Park | Bromley Civic Society

Comments are closed.