Cerne Park boundary bank


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1002416

Date first listed: 25-Jun-1973


Ordnance survey map of Cerne Park boundary bank
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Mar-2019 at 08:57:15.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Dorset

District: West Dorset (District Authority)

Parish: Cerne Abbas

County: Dorset

District: West Dorset (District Authority)

Parish: Sydling St. Nicholas

National Grid Reference: ST 64971 00896, ST 65061 01467


Part of Cerne Park deer park pale.

Reasons for Designation

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. Despite some tree growth and partial cultivation the part of Cerne Park deer park pale survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, maintenance, social, economic and political significance and overall landscape context.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 18 February 2016. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument, which falls into two separate areas, includes part of a deer park pale which is situated around a small steeply sided dry hanging valley overlooking and leading to the valley of the River Cerne. The deer park pale survives as a large boundary bank measuring approximately 7m wide and 1.4m high which in places has a double bank with an internal ditch up to 5m wide and 0.5m deep with an additional external ditch in places. The first documentary reference for this park dates to 1356 but indicates that it had already been in existence for some time prior to this date.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: DO 789

Legacy System: RSM - OCN


PastScape 199258

End of official listing