Ancient Monuments

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Medieval hunting lodge 620m NNW of Holly Hatch Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Ellingham, Harbridge and Ibsley, Hampshire

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Latitude: 50.9116 / 50°54'41"N

Longitude: -1.7019 / 1°42'6"W

OS Eastings: 421051.84177

OS Northings: 112505.655819

OS Grid: SU210125

Mapcode National: GBR 539.NKH

Mapcode Global: FRA 76BP.LSG

Entry Name: Medieval hunting lodge 620m NNW of Holly Hatch Cottage

Scheduled Date: 13 September 1963

Last Amended: 19 March 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016525

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30268

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Ellingham, Harbridge and Ibsley

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire


The monument includes the remains of a medieval hunting lodge within Sloden
Inclosure situated on the southern side of a gravel ridge 620m NNW of Holly
Hatch Cottage in the New Forest.
The location of the lodge is indicated by earthwork banks and an external
ditch which enclose a square raised platform measuring approximately 37m
across. The banks are a maximum of 3m in width and up to 0.85m in height. The
possible location of internal structures is suggested by widening of the bank
at the southern and eastern corners of the platform to form two mounds each up
to 5m in diameter and 0.7m in height. Fragmentary traces of an external ditch
measuring a maximum of 3m in width and up to 0.3m in depth are visible on the
north eastern and south western sides of the monument in the vicinity of a
later trackway which has bisected and disturbed it.
Limited excavation in 1915 found no evidence for structures within the
enclosure, on the basis of which the excavator suggested that it was for
keeping stock. However, its location in close proximity to other known
medieval hunting lodges and the similarity in both its form and dimensions
strongly indicate that it fulfilled the same function.

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 or 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 Hampshire forests other than the New Forest, possible locations for
only two have been identified. Therefore, the seven lodge sites in the New
Forest, 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 remains of the hunting lodge 620m NNW of Holly Hatch Cottage survive in
good condition with little significant disturbance. Despite the lack of
evidence from limited excavations in 1915, archaeological deposits will
survive providing information about the construction, layout and use of the
lodge, its economy, the nature and extent of the structures related to it and
the possible factors leading to its eventual decline and abandonment.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Sumner, H, The Ancient Earthworks of the New Forest, (1917)
Hampshire County Council, SU 21 SW 10,
Stamper, P.A., Unpublished thesis, 1983,

Source: Historic England

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