Dowsing Archaeological Features;
An empirical study at Cressing Temple, Witham, Essex.


22. Comparative Studies.

5.0. The 'Fishponds'. BVAS II. 5.1

The fishponds to the south.38. The area of the fishponds to the south of the site shown on the resistivity survey. The clear rectangle is the area of BVAS II and the blue colour indicates the extent of the ponds.

The area regarded by Hope as mediaeval fishponds (Figure. 38) and partially excavated in BVAS II has retained some of the early topography and so is visible by eye. Colin was able to outline three features he felt gave the same response and these correlate closely with the remote sensing survey.

5.2. He also outlined a two-celled structure which can be compared with some certainty against the building shown near the crook of the road south of the Granary on the 1794 estate map but had disappeared by the time the 1842 tithe map was produced.

5.3. A much larger two-celled structure orientated near east-west could have some link to the other roadside enclosure (which may also be a building), shown but this at best is tenuous. It does however offer a similar orientation to the postulated position of the second flanking building thought to be built as a pair to the Granary.

Section through brick culvert.
39. The photographs and plans of the BVAS II excavations shows the brick culvert to be destroyed from this point on, however a feature like this would leave a strong remnant reading.

5.4. The large culvert running down the side of the Granary on a divergent path is partly visible but Colin has traced it to the south ditch despite the fact that BVAS II showed it to have been completely destroyed for at least part of its length. (Figure. 39). As a substantial Tudor brick structure and water course its potential for remanence is high.

5.5. Colin has also traced a rectilinear structure containing some circular responses at the north end of the largest pond. There has been no exploratory work to corroborate this but the alignment with the Granary is worth noting as we do know that a building with a tiled hearth was around here before the Granary was built in 1623. (CT17).

5.6 A linear feature thought to be another brick culvert runs between the two central ponds and this coincides perfectly with a similar anomaly shown on the resistivity survey. Extrapolation of the drain northwards shows its coincidence with another linear response which halts in the area of the 'Greate House'.

22 - 6.0 Beneath the visitors centre.

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Barry Hillman-Crouch. MSt PA, Dip FA, BSc, HND. Written 1999 Published on the web June 2005.