Last Photographed: Wednesday 18th April 2007
Meare is a small village located a few miles outside of Glastonbury. Originally, it was probably one of the islands that existed on the marshes of the Somerset Levels. During the time of the abbey, it was still difficult to access, and supported a small farming community as well as playing home to one of the abbot's retreats (this manor still survives in the form of a farm adjacent to the fish house).
The Fish House was built in the 14th Century by the abbot of Glastonbury Abbey, and was used for the salting, curing and storage of fish from the Meare Pool. These fish would later supply the tables of the abbey. The Fish House also served as accommodation for the water bailiff, who would have made his home in the upper reaches of the building. The building is unique, with no other monastic fish house surviving in Britain.
After the dissolution, the Fish House was abandoned, and the Meare Pool left to become stagnant. In its heyday, the pool was said to have had a circumference of five miles. It was finally drained in the late 16th Century. Today, no visible trace of it remains.