Ancient Monuments

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The Fishing House of Charles Cotton, Beresford Dale

A Scheduled Monument in Alstonefield, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 53.13 / 53°7'48"N

Longitude: -1.811 / 1°48'39"W

OS Eastings: 412739.779975

OS Northings: 359223.358177

OS Grid: SK127592

Mapcode National: GBR 477.QYL

Mapcode Global: WHCDK.4LV9

Entry Name: The Fishing House of Charles Cotton, Beresford Dale

Scheduled Date: 12 November 1931

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006110

English Heritage Legacy ID: ST 18

County: Staffordshire

Civil Parish: Alstonefield

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Alstonfield St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield


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

Source: Historic England


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.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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.

Source: Historic England


Pastscape 307901, HER DST5875 and NMR SK 15 NW5

Source: Historic England

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