Monday, May 23, 2011

The Sluice-house at Highbury

Monday, May 23, 2011
Loretta reports:

Here's where London's Compleat Anglers went to fish.
Ye who with rod and line aspire to catch
Leviathans that swim within the stream
Of this fam'd River, now no longer New,
Yet still so call'd, come hither to the Sluice-house!
Here, largest gudgeons live, and fattest roach
Resort, and even barbel have been found.
Here too doth sometimes prey the rav'ning shark
Of streams like this, that is to say, a jack.
If fortune aid ye, ye perchance shall find
Upon an average within one day,
At least a fish, or two; if ye do not,
This will I promise ye, that ye shall have
Most glorious nibbles: come then, haste ye here.
And with ye bring large stock of baits and patience.
 . . .
The Sluice-house is a small wooden building, distant about half a mile beyond Highbury, just before the river angles off towards Newington. With London anglers it has always been a house of celebrity, because it is the nearest spot wherein they have hope of tolerable sport. Within it is now placed a machine for forcing water into the pipes that supply the inhabitants of Holloway and other parts adjacent. Just beyond is the Eel-pie house, which many who angle thereabouts mistake for the Sluice-house. To instruct the uninformed, and to gratify the eye of some who remember the spot they frequented in their youth, the preceding view, taken in May 1825, has been engraved.
—William Hone, The Every-day Book. —May 23.

Map courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
Scan of Sluice-house, from Hone, courtesy me.


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