Home    About the Trust    Collections & Archives
News    History    Muniment Room    Contact us

Welcome! Do you want to join in? If you already have an account, sign in now. If not, create one now.

Itchen Fishery

From The Muniment Room, a resource for social history, family history, and local history.

Jump to: navigation, search

The Itchen Fishery was the fishery of the River Itchen, stretching for more than 30 miles, from Alresford Pond to Blackbridge, near Winchester, and from there to Itchen Ferry, entering into the sea. It included the bed of the river, 123 acres in extent. It was leased to Edward Fleming in 1698. It was acquired by John Barton Willis Fleming in 1828.

For centuries the fishery belonged to the Bishops of Winchester, and by right tended to be leased to the owner of the Manor of South Stoneham, often together with the Wood Mills Salmon Fishery.

There is a sequence of title deeds for the property in Bundle 21, with leases for 21 years to: Peter Dolby (1660), assigned to Clement Dolby and John Francis (1670[1]), William Clerke (1675[2]), Alice Clerke (1682[3]), Edward Pyle of Over Wallop, and Nathaniel Trotman of Little Langford (1690[4]), Edward Fleming (1698[5]), Edward Nicholas (1716[6]), Richard Hinkesman of Chelsea (1729[7]), Catherine Consuitt of St George's, Hanover Square (1738[8]), William Sloane (1743[9]).

The Estate held a plan of the River Itchen between Winchester and Wood Mill, surveyed by John More in 1618[10].

On 1 October 1818, Richard Snellgrove, the bailiff of Winchester College, used force and arms to fish in the river from the Estate's land.

The Itchen fishery was acquired by John Barton Willis Fleming in 1828, with certain reservations to the Bishop of Winchester, and settled as part of the entailed Fleming Estate in 1837:[11]

‘All that the Fishery of the said John Fleming of and in the River running and coming from Alresford Pond in the said county of Southampton along and unto a certain Bridge called Blackbridge beside of near Winchester and from the said Bridge through and along the said River unto a place called Itchen Ferry entering into the Sea in the said County of Southampton. Except to the said John Fleming and his Heirs the Salmon Pool opposite to South Stoneham House and the Salmon which shall come thereto and be taken therein or in the River or watercarriage, where they have been heretofore usually taken and found. And except also and reserved unto the Lord Bishop of Winchester and his successors for him the said Lord Bishop and his Successors his and their Gentlemen and Servants free liberty to fish anywhere between Alresford Pond and Saint Cross near the City for all manner of Fish Salmon only excepted and also the fishing within the Timber Works of the Mills of the said Lord Bishop situate and being upon the said waters and heretofore letten to the farmer of the said Mills and the fishing of the said River and Water where the same runs through and within the said Bishop’s Manor of Bishopstoke for Jack Trout Eels and Crayfish as the same has for many years been used and exercised by the Bishop of Winchester and his predecessors or those claiming under them.’

In 1898, Lord Justice Romer ruled that the Estate only had a paper title to the fishery for salmon on the upper reaches of the river (above Wood Mill), and one that was unsupported by any acts of ownership; the right, including ownership of the bed of the river, had been abandoned to the riparian owners (the adjoining owners of the riverbank)[12].

The Estate's residual fishing rights as riparian owner were leased to Lord Swaythling in 1913[13]. The rights were sold in 1953 fror £2,000[14].


  1. Lease of fishery in the River Itchen, 1660  (WFMS:345 | HRO 102M71/T148)
  2. Lease of fishery in the River Itchen, 1675  (WFMS:346 | HRO 102M71/T149)
  3. Lease of fishery in the River Itchen, 1682  (WFMS:347 | HRO 102M71/T150)
  4. Lease of fishery in the River Itchen, 1690  (WFMS:348 | HRO 102M71/T151)
  5. Lease of fishery in the River Itchen, 1698  (WFMS:349 | HRO 102M71/T152)
  6. Lease of fishery in the River Itchen, 1716  (WFMS:350 | HRO 102M71/T153)
  7. Lease of fishery in the River Itchen, 1729  (WFMS:351 | HRO 102M71/T154)
  8. Lease of fishery in the River Itchen, 1738  (WFMS:352 | HRO 102M71/T155)
  9. Unexcuted lease of fishery in the River Itchen, 1743  (WFMS:353 | HRO 102M71/T156)
  10. Plan of the River Itchen between Winchester and Wood Mills surveyed by John More, 1618  (WFMS:461 | HRO 102M71/P1)
  11. Trust deed to bar entail, 1837  (WFMS:208 | HRO 102M71/T11)
  12. Sir Samuel Montagu and John Edward Arthur Willis Fleming v. John Gater. An appeal in 1899 failed.
  13. Lease of fishing rights in the River Itchen, 1914  (WFMS:1508 )
  14. Particulars and conditions of sale of the Freehold Agricultural Estate known as the North Stoneham Estate  (WFMS:1574 )
Personal tools