Ancient Monuments

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Cerne Park boundary bank

A Scheduled Monument in Cerne Abbas, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.8075 / 50°48'27"N

Longitude: -2.4954 / 2°29'43"W

OS Eastings: 365187.3445

OS Northings: 101003.931

OS Grid: ST651010

Mapcode National: GBR MV.YKKW

Mapcode Global: FRA 56NY.X7X

Entry Name: Cerne Park boundary bank

Scheduled Date: 25 June 1973

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002416

English Heritage Legacy ID: DO 789

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Cerne Abbas

Built-Up Area: Cerne Abbas

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Cerne Abbas St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


Part of Cerne Park deer park pale.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 18 February 2016. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument, which falls into two separate areas, includes part of a deer park pale which is situated around a small steeply sided dry hanging valley overlooking and leading to the valley of the River Cerne. The deer park pale survives as a large boundary bank measuring approximately 7m wide and 1.4m high which in places has a double bank with an internal ditch up to 5m wide and 0.5m deep with an additional external ditch in places. The first documentary reference for this park dates to 1356 but indicates that it had already been in existence for some time prior to this date.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Deer parks were areas of land, usually enclosed, set aside and equipped for the management and hunting of deer and other animals. They were generally located in open countryside on marginal land or adjacent to a manor house, castle or palace. They varied in size between 3ha and 1600ha and usually comprised a combination of woodland and grassland which provided a mixture of cover and grazing for deer. Parks could contain a number of features, including hunting lodges (often moated), a park-keeper's house, rabbit warrens, fishponds and enclosures for game, and were usually surrounded by a park pale, a massive fenced or hedged bank often with an internal ditch. Although a small number of parks may have been established in the Anglo-Saxon period, it was the Norman aristocracy's taste for hunting that led to the majority being constructed. The peak period for the laying-out of parks, between AD 1200 and 1350, coincided with a time of considerable prosperity amongst the nobility. From the 15th century onwards few parks were constructed and by the end of the 17th century the deer park in its original form had largely disappeared. The original number of deer parks nationally is unknown. Despite some tree growth and partial cultivation the part of Cerne Park deer park pale survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, maintenance, social, economic and political significance and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England


PastScape 199258

Source: Historic England

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