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Deerpound on Toot Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Macclesfield Forest and Wildboarclough, Cheshire East

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.2454 / 53°14'43"N

Longitude: -2.044 / 2°2'38"W

OS Eastings: 397158.725429

OS Northings: 372037.725692

OS Grid: SJ971720

Mapcode National: GBR GZ5X.8B

Mapcode Global: WHBBQ.KPWD

Entry Name: Deerpound on Toot Hill

Scheduled Date: 3 December 1951

Last Amended: 19 October 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011163

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23611

County: Cheshire East

Civil Parish: Macclesfield Forest and Wildboarclough

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Rainow Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Chester

Details

The monument is a medieval deerpound located on the summit of Toot Hill in
Macclesfield Forest, originally a Royal Forest. It includes a banked and
ditched sub-rectangular enclosure that is approached from the south-west by a
hollow way. The enclosure measures approximately 44m by 35m internally and
contains a low, centrally-placed, raised platform measuring 16m by 15m and
faint traces of a hollow way leading from the platform to the western corner
of the enclosure. Surrounding the enclosure is a ditch up to 2m wide by 0.5m
deep. The upcast from this ditch has been used to create an internal bank
measuring up to 3m wide by 0.4m high. There are also traces of an outer bank
2m wide and 0.1m high flanking the ditch at the northern and southern corners.
Access to the enclosure is provided by an entrance 3m wide at the mid-point of
the north-eastern side of the enclosure and a causeway 3m wide on the south-
eastern side close to the southern corner. On the south-western side, close to
the western corner, a hollow way 4m wide runs from the ditch in a south-
westerly direction for a distance of approximately 40m.
In Domesday seven hays or enclosures used in medieval hunting were mentioned
as being situated in Macclesfield Manor. Limited early 20th century
excavations on the bank and within the central platform found stone roofing
tiles indicating that a building or shelter formerly existed here.
Slight banks and ditches running from the western and eastern corners of the
enclosure are thought to be old field boundaries and are not included in the
scheduling.

MAP EXTRACT
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.
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
landscape. Where a deer park survives well and is well-documented or
associated with other significant remains, its principal features are normally
identified as nationally important.

The deerpound on Toot Hill survives well. Limited early 20th century
excavation found evidence for a building or shelter and further structural
evidence facilitating a greater understanding of deer park management
activities will exist within the enclosure.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Manchester and District Branch of the Classical Association, (1909)
Dodgson, J McN, The Place Names of Cheshire Part 1, (1970), 127
Earwaker, J P, East Cheshire Past and Present, (1882), 437-8
Sainter, J D, Scientific Rambles Around Macclesfield, (1878), 17-18
Thomas, F, 'Trans Lancs & Chesh Antiq Soc' in , , Vol. 70, (1960), 84-7

Source: Historic England

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