Ancient Monuments

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Studley Castle royal hunting lodge

A Scheduled Monument in Redlynch, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 50.9431 / 50°56'35"N

Longitude: -1.6853 / 1°41'7"W

OS Eastings: 422206.578147

OS Northings: 116014.208928

OS Grid: SU222160

Mapcode National: GBR 648.SW6

Mapcode Global: FRA 76CM.18M

Entry Name: Studley Castle royal hunting lodge

Scheduled Date: 13 September 1963

Last Amended: 7 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016494

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32542

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Redlynch

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


The monument includes a royal hunting lodge dating to the medieval period,
situated in the New Forest on a south-facing spur at the north east end of
Islands Thorns Enclosure. The moat surrounding the lodge survives as a
shallow ditch and a low inner bank enclosing a square area, 35m across. Both
the ditch and bank are 4m-5m wide and the bank stands on average 0.4m above
the interior but rises slightly higher at the sharp corners. There is a
possible original entrance on the east side formed by a simple causewayed gap
through the ditch and bank, but this has been partly disturbed by the modern
use of heavy machinery for tree removal. The moat has been breached in three
further places by tree removal and a modern path. The interior is divided
roughly in half by a slight ditch running in a north-south direction across
it, and there is a faint indication of a low central platform situated
immediately west of this ditch, approximately 12m in diameter, which may have
formed a foundation for the lodge. No visible traces survive of the lodge
itself, although pieces of slate and medieval tile have been observed on the
site and further buried remains can be expected to survive. Historical records
indicate that the original structure was built between 1358 and 1361, that it
included a kitchen, and was of timber frame and plaster construction, with a
roof of Purbeck and Cornish slates. It formed part of a set of four lodges
constructed at the same time in the New Forest for Edward III, the principal
one of which, Hatheburg, was situated near Lyndhurst and was constructed on a
grander scale including a King's chamber, chapel, hall and outbuildings.
At least three other royal hunting lodges are known to have been constructed
in the New Forest during the 13th and 14th centuries.

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

Forests, in the medieval period, were tracts of land subject to forest law and
generally outside the common law of the land. In fact the term `forest', by
today's meaning, is something of a misnomer as only about one fifth of legal
forest was actually woodland. Forest law was a system devised to preserve for
the King's amusement and profit certain designated animals and the trees and
pasture which provided shelter and sustenance for them. The main animals
hunted were fallow deer, red deer, roe deer and wild boar. Forests had special
officials and courts assigned to them; the laws were strictly enforced and
provided the King with a steady income from rents, goods and fines. However,
the management and exploitation of forest resources also entailed some
expenditure. Game were often enclosed within a park pale, a massive fenced or
hedged bank, sometimes with an internal ditch, and hunting lodges, usually
moated, were built in the forests to provide temporary accommodation for
visiting royalty and nobility.
Like deer parks, the establishment of hunting forests peaked between the end
of the 12th and the middle of the 14th centuries at which point it is
estimated to have covered a third of England. The creation of royal forest
led to significant changes in the landscape, including the abandonment and
destruction of many existing villages and farms.
Whilst documentary sources indicate that there were at least five hunting
lodges in other Hampshire forests, possible locations for only two have been
identified. The seven lodge sites in the New Forest therefore, which are well
documented, combined with well preserved stretches of pale, represent a rare
and unusually complete survival. As a group these remains provide a rare
opportunity to understand the management, development and use of a royal
forest. As a consequence, all components with significant surviving remains
are considered to be of national importance.
The royal hunting lodge at Studley, in the New Forest, survives reasonably
well despite some later disturbance by subsequent tree planting and removal,
and can be expected to retain archaeological remains and environmental
evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Colvin, H M, The History of the King's Works, (1963), 983-6
Sumner, H, The Ancient Earthworks of the New Forest, (1917), 64
Williams-Freeman, JP, Introduction to field archaeology as illustrated by Hampshire, (1915), 109,367
'Hampshire Field Club New Forest Section Report' in Hampshire Field Club New Forest Section Report, , Vol. 6, (1969), 6

Source: Historic England

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