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Park pale known as Bishop's Dyke, and a Bronze Age bowl barrow, to the south and west of Furzy Brow

A Scheduled Monument in Denny Lodge, Hampshire

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Latitude: 50.8436 / 50°50'37"N

Longitude: -1.5148 / 1°30'53"W

OS Eastings: 434257.761

OS Northings: 105011.9459

OS Grid: SU342050

Mapcode National: GBR 775.1VH

Mapcode Global: FRA 76QV.TZS

Entry Name: Park pale known as Bishop's Dyke, and a Bronze Age bowl barrow, to the south and west of Furzy Brow

Scheduled Date: 16 September 1963

Last Amended: 9 August 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009324

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22032

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Denny Lodge

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire


The monument includes the boundary bank and ditches of a park pale, known as
Bishop's Dyke, and a Bronze Age bowl barrow, on undulating low-lying marshy
ground. The park pale includes an earth bank with a ditch on both its inside
and outside enclosing an area of c.280ha. The barrow is incorporated into the
park pale bank and outer ditch towards the south eastern end of the park
pale circuit.

The bank of the park pale is c.4m wide and up to 2m high in places but
averaging c.1m high. On each side of the bank is a ditch from which material
was quarried during its construction. These ditches have become infilled over
the years and can no longer be seen at ground level for their whole circuit.
Where they can be seen they are up to 3m wide and 1m deep. Where they cannot
be seen they survive as buried features. Two sections of the park pale are
obscured where they are crossed by a railway line and embankment. Two further
gaps in the circuit are believed to be original. The park pale was reputedly
constructed to enclose land for forest pasturage and sport by John de
Pontoise, Bishop of Winchester. A claim made by Walter Curll, Bishop of
Winchester in AD 1636, shows that he and his predecessors held free charter of
Bishop's Dyke by letters patent from Edward I, AD 1284. Although described in
a survey of 1789 as a purlieu, Bishop's Dyke did not have the status of a
purlieu, but rather that of a park.

The barrow mound measures 10m in diameter and stands up to 0.6m high. A slight
hollow in the centre of the mound suggests previous robbing or partial
excavation. Although no longer visible a ditch, from which material was
quarried during the construction of the barrow, surrounds the mound. This has
become infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature c.1m wide. The
north western edge of the mound and a section of the buried ditch is
interrupted by a length of the outer bank and ditch of the park pale.

The post and wire fences which cross the monument are excluded from the
scheduling but the ground beneath is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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. Some
parks were superimposed on existing fieldscapes and their laying-out may have
involved the demolition of occupied farms and villages. Occasionally a park
may contain the well preserved remains of this earlier landscape. 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 but probably exceeded
3000. Many of these survive today, although often altered to a greater or
lesser degree. They were established in virtually every county in England, but
are most numerous in the West Midlands and Home Counties. Deer parks were a
long-lived and widespread monument type. Today they serve to illustrate an
important aspect of the activities of medieval nobility and still exert a
powerful influence on the pattern of the modern countryside. Those deer parks
which survive well, are well-documented, and contain within their boundaries
significant well-preserved evidence of earlier landscapes, are normally
identified as nationally important.

The bank and ditches of the park pale known as Bishop's Dyke, which enclosed
the deer park of the Bishop of Winchester in the medieval period, survive well
and will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to
the park pale and the environment in which it was constructed. Waterlogging of
the internal ditch will particularly aid the preservation of both
archaeological and environmental evidence. Towards the south east side of its
circuit a Bronze Age barrow is incorporated into the construction of the park
pale. Despite having been partially excavated, the barrow will contain
archaeological remains.

Although there are about 60 medieval deer parks in Hampshire, the park pale
known as Bishop's Dyke is an outstanding, largely complete and well documented
example of its class.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Sumner, H, The Ancient Earthworks of the New Forest, (1917), 110
Sumner, H, The Ancient Earthworks of the New Forest, (1917), 110

Source: Historic England

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