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Fyling medieval deer park wall section

A Scheduled Monument in Fylingdales, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.4132 / 54°24'47"N

Longitude: -0.5626 / 0°33'45"W

OS Eastings: 493383.686

OS Northings: 502926.5637

OS Grid: NZ933029

Mapcode National: GBR SKJD.0R

Mapcode Global: WHGBC.BBCL

Entry Name: Fyling medieval deer park wall section

Scheduled Date: 7 April 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015542

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28296

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Fylingdales

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Fylingdales St Stephen

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a length of the surviving medieval park wall and ditch
which formerly surrounded Fyling deer park.
The monument includes part of the south and south west sides of the park wall
with remains of the ditch on the internal side. The original extent of the
medieval deer park can still be identified in the layout of the landscape in
this area; however only this section of the wall has been identified to
survive. The wall and ditch served to enclose a deer park and was constructed
to prevent deer from escaping. The wall no longer survives to its original
height and in some places has partly collapsed and been rebuilt on the
surviving medieval wall.

The medieval wall is built of roughly squared blocks and is at least two
stones thick along its length. At regular intervals along most of the southern
stretch are large and well shaped stones which are arranged in the form of a
cross. The crosses are made up of six equally sized stones two of which run
through the thickness of the wall. Some 30 crosses survive completely and the
fragments of others can be identified in places where the wall has been
subsequently rebuilt. In some places the wall is built on an earth and stone
bank up to 0.85m high.

On the inside of the park wall are remains of the ditch. This has been partly
filled in over the years and in some places survives as a shallow hollow up to
2m wide. Elsewhere the ditch is no longer visible as an earthwork although
significant remains will be preserved below the ground.

Fyling Park was a deer park of the abbot of Whitby and was part of a hunting
forest which extended from Whitby to Hackness. Fyling park was laid out in the
12th century and continued in use until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in
1536. The new owners let the park fall into disuse by the 17th century and the
bulk of the stones from the wall were taken away and reused elsewhere.

All gates and fences are excluded from the scheduling although 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.
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 extent of the deer park at Fyling can still be identified in the landscape
although only sections of the park boundary wall at the south and west are
currently known to survive well. Where the wall does survive well, significant
archaeological remains will be preserved below the wall and in the partly
infilled ditch. The wall is particularly unusual in having the crosses built
into it; a motif thought to symbolise the monastic ownership. The wall is
important for understanding medieval building techniques and with its setting
in the wider deer park offers important scope for understanding both medieval
animal husbandry and the role of monasteries in the wider landscape.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
'Trans. Scarborough and District Archaeological Society' in Fyling Park, , Vol. VOL 3, (1974), 9-11

Source: Historic England

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