Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Swan Pit

Swan Pit, originally uploaded by Colonel Blink.

Oh God another intrusive heritage sign obscuring what it is trying to explain. Norwich's Medieval Swan pit does not need a tin duck attached to it and needlessly blocking our view. I have no objection, in theory to the labelling of sites but it becomes ridiculous when an attempt is made to make the label more important than what it describes. In this case because of the choice of font, the use of capitals and the insistence that the words should follow the curves of the wing most of the sign is illegible.

But it is very artistic!*


*The swan pit and sluice at the Great Hospital, Bishopsgate. This swan pit with attached sluices dates to the late 18th century but was restored in the late 19th century and altered again in the 20th century. It takes the form of a large rectangular pool with brick sides. At both eastern corners are brick paved ramps. Attached to the north a stone sided channel with two 19th century sluice gates which link the pit with the River Wensum. The sluices ensure that the pit is filled at high tide, and not allowed to empty at low tide. This very rare 'swan pit' was used for the breeding of local swans for the Master of the Great Hospital, Norwich, who since medieval times had the right to cull swans and provide them for feast. Quote taken from here.

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