Normally, when I begin to research a property for one of these posts, I like to make a visit to take an up-to-date “now” photo for comparison. Sadly that’s not possible with today’s subject, since all traces of it have been wiped off the face of the earth – or at least the visible earth. Who knows what still lies beneath…?
The Fisheries at the bottom of Hyde End Lane seem to have been located on the site of what was once Hyde End Mill, at the end of the lane as you get towards the river Enborne. The fisheries (or trout farm, to be precise) bred fish to re-stock the local ponds, rivers and lakes. Whether the original mill forms part of what is now two houses at the end of the lane is unknown to me – so any local intel would be appreciated.
The ‘Brimpton Story’ contained a lovely extract from a book called ‘Untravelled Berkshire’, which gave the following background information into how the farm operated:
A trout farm has been established there, and tanks made to contain the fish in various stages of development. The spawn is kept in narrow ducts; afterwards, when grown to sufficient size, the fish are drafted off into the enclosed portions of the river, finally being dispatched by rail in special cans, very like those that milk is sent in; not to be eaten – at least not yet – but to stock streams and rivers, doubtless to be caught again eventually. The care and culture of the trout had to be carefully watched and the level of the river also as too high or too low water could kill the fish. The Kingfisher was also a predator to be watched. The trout were fed on minced and chopped up horseflesh, supplied in some cases, by knackers from TadleyUntravelled Berkshire, Published by Sampson Low, Marston