Ancient Monuments

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A 17th century park lodge known as Dobpark Lodge in Dob Park, near Otley

A Scheduled Monument in Weston, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.9478 / 53°56'52"N

Longitude: -1.7105 / 1°42'37"W

OS Eastings: 419095.77169

OS Northings: 450231.168523

OS Grid: SE190502

Mapcode National: GBR JQHS.GK

Mapcode Global: WHC8Q.P1NB

Entry Name: A 17th century park lodge known as Dobpark Lodge in Dob Park, near Otley

Scheduled Date: 31 January 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015630

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29152

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Weston

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Weston All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


The monument includes the remains of a park lodge in Dob Park, south of
Dobpark Wood, c.375m west of Middle Farm, Weston, near Otley. The lodge
measures c.16m along the south west front facade, and c.13m from front to
It consists of the remains of a central 10m square tower, with a corner turret
4m square at each end of its south west facade. The north western of these
turrets still survives to its full height of four storeys. On the rear, north
east side of the main tower is a 3m square stair tower. This survives to
a height of three stories, as does the adjacent portion of the main tower. The
main tower also survives to its full extent of three storeys adjacent to the
north west turret. Elsewhere, the walls of the main tower and the turret at
the south east end of the front facade survive to a height of less than one
storey, c.1m-1.5m, and have been capped with coping stones which are cemented
in place. Much of the latter may have been rebuilt on the original
foundations, for use as a sheepfold.
The lodge probably dates from the early 17th century and was built for
Sir Mauger Vavasour whose ancestry can be traced back to Norman times. It is
thought to have been a forest lodge occupied by a branch of the Vavasour
family of Weston Hall. During the Civil War, it is said to have been shelled
by Cromwell's soldiers. It is Listed Grade II.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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.

After c.1480, a new type of park began to develop out of the deer park
tradition. This combined the deer management and hunting aspects of the
medieval deer park with a greater emphasis on moulding the landscape to
conform to the aesthetic ideal. Such parks usually adorned the country
residences of the powerful and wealthy and were popular until the Civil War.
This type of park is usually referred to as a country house park, and formed
an intermediate stage in development between the medieval deer park and the
later landscape park.
Too little of Dob Park remains to determine whether it was originally created
as a country house type park, or whether Dobpark Lodge represents an
embellishment of a pre-existing medieval deer park. The isolated situation may
indicate the latter. In either case, Dobpark Lodge is an unusual survival of
a building associated with the country park tradition. It was built in the
early 17th century by the Vavasour family, has undergone little subsequent
alteration, and parts still survive to their full height.
Architecturally, the building displays features typical of the country houses
of the wealthy elite of the time. It is a development of the medieval hall,
embellished with corner turrets and an impressive symmetrical facade with many
large cross-mullioned windows and a central oriel window.
This ruined hunting lodge is the only surviving evidence for the medieval Dob
Park. The ruins retain significant architectural detail and allow the
original form and layout of the lodge to be substantially determined.

Source: Historic England

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