Park pale known as Bishop's Dyke, and a Bronze Age bowl barrow, to the south and west of Furzy Brow


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009324

Date first listed: 16-Sep-1963

Date of most recent amendment: 09-Aug-1994


Ordnance survey map of Park pale known as Bishop's Dyke, and a Bronze Age bowl barrow, to the south and west of Furzy Brow
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Hampshire

District: New Forest (District Authority)

Parish: Denny Lodge

National Park: NEW FOREST

National Grid Reference: SU 34258 05012, SU 35602 04343


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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. Some parks were superimposed on existing fieldscapes and their laying-out may have involved the demolition of occupied farms and villages. Occasionally a park may contain the well preserved remains of this earlier landscape. 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 countryside. Those deer parks which survive well, are well-documented, and contain within their boundaries significant well-preserved evidence of earlier landscapes, are normally identified as nationally important.

The bank and ditches of the park pale known as Bishop's Dyke, which enclosed the deer park of the Bishop of Winchester in the medieval period, survive well and will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the park pale and the environment in which it was constructed. Waterlogging of the internal ditch will particularly aid the preservation of both archaeological and environmental evidence. Towards the south east side of its circuit a Bronze Age barrow is incorporated into the construction of the park pale. Despite having been partially excavated, the barrow will contain archaeological remains.

Although there are about 60 medieval deer parks in Hampshire, the park pale known as Bishop's Dyke is an outstanding, largely complete and well documented example of its class.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes the boundary bank and ditches of a park pale, known as Bishop's Dyke, and a Bronze Age bowl barrow, on undulating low-lying marshy ground. The park pale includes an earth bank with a ditch on both its inside and outside enclosing an area of c.280ha. The barrow is incorporated into the park pale bank and outer ditch towards the south eastern end of the park pale circuit.

The bank of the park pale is c.4m wide and up to 2m high in places but averaging c.1m high. On each side of the bank is a ditch from which material was quarried during its construction. These ditches have become infilled over the years and can no longer be seen at ground level for their whole circuit. Where they can be seen they are up to 3m wide and 1m deep. Where they cannot be seen they survive as buried features. Two sections of the park pale are obscured where they are crossed by a railway line and embankment. Two further gaps in the circuit are believed to be original. The park pale was reputedly constructed to enclose land for forest pasturage and sport by John de Pontoise, Bishop of Winchester. A claim made by Walter Curll, Bishop of Winchester in AD 1636, shows that he and his predecessors held free charter of Bishop's Dyke by letters patent from Edward I, AD 1284. Although described in a survey of 1789 as a purlieu, Bishop's Dyke did not have the status of a purlieu, but rather that of a park.

The barrow mound measures 10m in diameter and stands up to 0.6m high. A slight hollow in the centre of the mound suggests previous robbing or partial excavation. Although no longer visible a ditch, from which material was quarried during the construction of the barrow, surrounds the mound. This has become infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature c.1m wide. The north western edge of the mound and a section of the buried ditch is interrupted by a length of the outer bank and ditch of the park pale.

The post and wire fences which cross the monument are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT 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.


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

Legacy System number: 22032

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Sumner, H, The Ancient Earthworks of the New Forest, (1917), 110
Sumner, H, The Ancient Earthworks of the New Forest, (1917), 110

End of official listing