Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Medieval Park Pale, Upsall Estate, Thirsk, North Yorkshire.

A Scheduled Monument in Felixkirk, North Yorkshire

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 54.2638 / 54°15'49"N

Longitude: -1.2884 / 1°17'18"W

OS Eastings: 446447.6995

OS Northings: 485582.6405

OS Grid: SE464855

Mapcode National: GBR MMF4.V9

Mapcode Global: WHD8J.53R3

Entry Name: Medieval Park Pale, Upsall Estate, Thirsk, North Yorkshire.

Scheduled Date: 3 January 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010804

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12702

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Felixkirk

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


The Upsall Park Pale originally enclosed an area of some 600 acres (240ha.)
and therefore defined a large Deer Park. Of when it was constructed there is
no exact record, but it was probably during the period of rebuilding of the
associated castle in the mid/late 14th century. The estate is documented as
having been disparked in 1599, and hence was returned to agricultural use.
Other documentary sources, however, suggest that it could still be recognised
as a complete park as late as 1773. While functioning as a Deer Park, the
area would have served to provide for the estate a constant and sustainable
supply of food and perhaps timber throughout the year as well as
opportunities for hunting.
The Pale itself survives in its most complete form as an earthen bank 5m
across and 1m high, with an internal ditch with a span of about 2.5m. It is
assumed that the bank was originally surmounted by a timber palisade, thus
providing an effective stock barrier. Today the Pale survives best where it
has been incorporated into modern field boundaries, most easily seen along the
eastern edge where it is marked by a line of mature trees.
Variations on this form include less well-preserved sections of bank and
ditch, lengths of ditch only, lengths where the earthwork boundary has been
ploughed flat, one section of probable double-bank and substantial lengths
where no earthwork survives but the Park boundary is marked by a steep-sided
stream. It is these natural boundaries which have given the Park its irregular
outline compared with more regular examples with entirely artificial
The sections chosen for scheduling are the best-preserved lengths of pale.

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

The Upsall Estate Park Pale is a rare example of an extensively intact
park boundary which, by virtue of its association with the contemporary
castle and its historical documentation, demonstrates well the articulation
of the medieval landscape in this region. The Pale delineates an unusually
large Deerpark in an area previously thought to be almost devoid of such
surviving monuments, and illustrates an important variation in construction
techniques in response to local geological and topographical conditions.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of North Riding of Yorkshire, (1923), 41-42
Grainge, W , The Vale of Mowbray: A Historical and Topographical Account of Thirsk and its Neighbourhood, (1859)
Cantor, L, 'Arch Gazetteer' in Medieval Parks of England: A Gazetteer, (1983), 88-90

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.