As well as having rights of fishing in the River Kennet, the Englefield manor originally had two other fisheries in man-made lakes. These were intended to provide fish for meals on Fridays and other special days when the Englefields, as prominent Roman Catholics, would certainly have observed the custom of abstaining from eating meat. One of these was Cranmere and the other was at a place called Garretts. While the Cranmere fishery was converted into the ornamental lake in front of Englefield House, probably begun by Powlett Wrighte but certainly completed by Richard Benyon de Beauvoir, the Garretts fishery remained until well into the 19th century for the 1861 census shows Edward Gould, a fisherman, in the Fishery Cottage there. Gould had been the occupier in 1844 and was still in residence in 1871, aged 70. Ten years later the Fishery Cottage was inhabited by Abraham Hodges, a "rod dealer", the rods being the osier rods from the adjacent Draper's osier bed. The house was still listed in the 1911 census, though uninhabited since at least 1891.
As the old map shows, the Fishery Cottage was originally completely surrounded by a double moat system fed with running water from the Kennet . This whole piece of land was known as Garretts, situated at the end of what was originally called Garrett's Lane (now Wigmore Lane). A little further up river to the north west was the Punt Field and the Englefield Meadow was immediately to the north east. The Fishery is still shown in this form at least up to the first series 1:50 000 map, but with the gravel extraction that subsequently took place has now become a horseshoe-shaped lake. The aerial image to the right shows the old Fishery superimposed on the modern landscape. The site of Fishery Cottage is now under water and of the original system only the eastern part of the outer moat remains. The river too has changed its course and the large meander no longer exists.
© 2021 Richard J Smith