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Somerset Historic Environment Record


Site Name: Duck decoy, E of Barrow Wood Lane, Westbury
SCHEDULED MONUMENT: Duck decoy east of Barrow Wood Lane [No:27965]
Civil Parish: Westbury
Part of:
PRN 11224Extensive Cropmarks, SW of Cheddar
Grid Ref: ST 4787 4847 (ST 44 NE)
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Image: Image of HER 24254 - Photo by Somerset County Council (17 July 1975)
  HER 24254 - Photo by Somerset County Council (17 July 1975)

Public access:

The public accessibility of this site is unknown or has not been checked. Please ask locally and do not visit without permission. [Information last updated on 21 May 2003]


During fieldwork for a parish survey, unusual earthworks were noted. They probably represent a duck decoy of C16 or C17 date. {1}

One of the best preserved and most complex duck decoys in Somerset. Shown and described as old on an C18 map. Earthworks consist of a central raised mound surrounded by a complex of depressions and holloways representing pools and streams. "Stoke Decoy" is published on the OS 1st edition 1" map as applying to two separate decoy features, one of which is the above (for the other see PRN 24253). Both features are sketched and are of the normal starfish variety. APs show a very untypical feature at ST478485 consisting of a regular oval perimeter ditch containing various irregular water channels. {2}

All the water channels are now dry, earthworks in good condition under lush grassland. There is little other vegetation except for two oak trees within the central earthwork complex, and a patch or two of brambles. {3}

A large, possibly six pipe decoy. The NW part remains as a substantial earthwork with part of its boundary rhyne and perhaps four pipes still visible. The rest of the site appears to have been levelled. {4}

Part of an enclosure rhyne and two pipes surviving of a duck decoy on the E side of Barrow Wood Lane. {5}

Scheduling revised with new national number on 16 Feb 1996 (was Somerset 464, scheduled on 20 Oct 1977). {8}

Known as "Stoke" or "Westbury", and to existed before 1635. {9}

The monument has a good cover of grass with no evidence of poaching. {10}


1 Mention - Hawkes, C. Westbury sub mendip. In Aston, M. Somerset Archaeology 1974-75. Somerset Archaeology and Natural History  120 (1976), 69-80 at 76.
2 Detailed records - Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division record card. Record ID: ST 44 NE 15 (1979) Location: HER file.
3 Detailed records - Various. Department of the Environment and English Heritage (1980s) Location: HER collections.
4 Mention - McDonnell, RRJ. Duck decoys in Somerset, a gazetteer. Somerset Archaeology and Natural History.  128 (1984), 25-30 [page 29 (site 30)]
5 Mention - McDonnell, RRJ [Richard]. Somerset County Council claylands aerial photo survey (1985) (ST4748B). Location: verbal or direct entry to database, no other records.
6 Aerial photographs - HSL 71 220 Run 47E 2019. (12/11/1971) Location: Local Studies collection at Somerset Heritage Centre.
7 Aerial photographs - Cartographical Services Ltd 969 4755. (02/08/1981) Location: Local Studies collection at Somerset Heritage Centre.
8 Correspondence - English Heritage to Somerset County Council. (4/3/1996) Location: Unchecked but probably HER files.
9 Mention - Ley, IB. Somerset Duck Decoys.  Site 7 (1977) report. Location: HER files under PRN 24266.
10 Site visit report - Graham, A (Alan). English Heritage Field Monument Warden (10/5/2000) Location: HER files.
11 Site visit report - Grove, J. Somerset County Council (26/1/1995) Handwritten notes. Location: HER files.

Record created in July 1985

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