About a thousand years ago, before the village of Pooley Bridge existed, several farms were strung out along the fell sides on either side of Ullswater and the River Eamont. As the need arose for a river crossing a weir was erected between the lake and the present bridge. This, in turn, gave rise to fishing activities and the beginnings of the village.
In the 12th century a charter was granted by King John to hold a fish market in Pooley Village square in front of what is now the Crown Hotel. A cross monument with a fish and weather vane, similar to the one you see today, was erected. It stood near its current site, was repaired by the Earl of Sussex in 1697 but was removed in 1860 to allow a turning space for the horse-drawn coaches bringing visitors to Ullswater.
The current Fish Cross monument was erected by Barton Parish Council in the Millennium Year 2000 to commemorate the granting of the charter by King John and as a reminder of the village’s fishing origins.
The Coats of Arms of the Dacre family and the Hasells of Dalemain are inscribed on the north and south faces of the Cross to acknowledge their historical attachment to the ancient Parish of Barton.
By Cyril Wilson, resident of Pooley Bridge
POOLEY BRIDGE FISH MONUMENT - GRID REF - NY 470 244
The Square & Crown Hotel, Pooley Bridge mid 20th century