Ancient Monuments

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Deer park pale in Stubb's Coppice, Hogstock Coppice and Sing Close Coppice

A Scheduled Monument in Tarrant Rushton, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.8603 / 50°51'37"N

Longitude: -2.0647 / 2°3'52"W

OS Eastings: 395541.9735

OS Northings: 106756.5001

OS Grid: ST955067

Mapcode National: GBR 30R.SZV

Mapcode Global: FRA 66KT.PFN

Entry Name: Deer park pale in Stubb's Coppice, Hogstock Coppice and Sing Close Coppice

Scheduled Date: 6 March 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019952

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33195

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Tarrant Rushton

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Tarrant Monkton with Tarrant Launceston All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes the upstanding earthwork remains of the park pale (or
boundary) of a deer park now occupied by Stubb's Coppice, Hogstock Coppice and
Sing Close Coppice, situated on a gentle south facing slope along the eastern
edge of the Tarrant valley.
The deer park pale, which was recorded by L M Cantor and J D Wilson in 1968,
now survives as an earthwork along the eastern and southern sides of the
former deer park. It includes a bank with dimensions of between 4m to 5m in
width and 0.5m to 1m in height and an outer ditch between 1.5m to 3m in width
and about 0.5m deep. The eastern stretch runs for approximately 1.1km and the
southern stretch for about 800m. Within the south eastern corner another bank
and ditch form a triangular enclosure with an entrance to the north. This is
likely to represent a deer trap, into which animals could be chased.
A documentary reference dating to 1296 records that a park of 32ha existed at
Tarrant Rushton and that this included areas of both woodland and pasture.
All gate and fence posts which relate to the modern field boundaries are
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

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.

The earthwork remains of the deer park pale in Stubb's Coppice, Hogstock
Coppice and Sing Close Coppice are well-preserved along the eastern, southern
and western lengths and these provide a good indication of the original
character of the deer park. The association of the additional earthwork within
the south eastern area represents an unusual survival of a deer trap.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Cantor, L M, Wilson, J D, 'Proc Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Medieval Deer Parks of Dorset, , Vol. 90, (1968), 242-244

Source: Historic England

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