Medieval Park Pale, Upsall Estate, Thirsk, North Yorkshire.


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010804

Date first listed: 03-Jan-1990


Ordnance survey map of Medieval Park Pale, Upsall Estate, Thirsk, North Yorkshire.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Hambleton (District Authority)

Parish: Felixkirk

County: North Yorkshire

District: Hambleton (District Authority)

Parish: Kirby Knowle

County: North Yorkshire

District: Hambleton (District Authority)

Parish: Upsall

National Grid Reference: SE 44937 86249, SE 45280 86565, SE 46096 86295, SE 46137 84909, SE 46174 86100, SE 46197 85951, SE 46377 85250, SE 46448 85583


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

Reasons for Designation

The Upsall Estate Park Pale is a rare example of an extensively intact park boundary which, by virtue of its association with the contemporary castle and its historical documentation, demonstrates well the articulation of the medieval landscape in this region. The Pale delineates an unusually large Deerpark in an area previously thought to be almost devoid of such surviving monuments, and illustrates an important variation in construction techniques in response to local geological and topographical conditions.


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


The Upsall Park Pale originally enclosed an area of some 600 acres (240ha.) and therefore defined a large Deer Park. Of when it was constructed there is no exact record, but it was probably during the period of rebuilding of the associated castle in the mid/late 14th century. The estate is documented as having been disparked in 1599, and hence was returned to agricultural use. Other documentary sources, however, suggest that it could still be recognised as a complete park as late as 1773. While functioning as a Deer Park, the area would have served to provide for the estate a constant and sustainable supply of food and perhaps timber throughout the year as well as opportunities for hunting. The Pale itself survives in its most complete form as an earthen bank 5m across and 1m high, with an internal ditch with a span of about 2.5m. It is assumed that the bank was originally surmounted by a timber palisade, thus providing an effective stock barrier. Today the Pale survives best where it has been incorporated into modern field boundaries, most easily seen along the eastern edge where it is marked by a line of mature trees. Variations on this form include less well-preserved sections of bank and ditch, lengths of ditch only, lengths where the earthwork boundary has been ploughed flat, one section of probable double-bank and substantial lengths where no earthwork survives but the Park boundary is marked by a steep-sided stream. It is these natural boundaries which have given the Park its irregular outline compared with more regular examples with entirely artificial boundaries. The sections chosen for scheduling are the best-preserved lengths of pale.

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: 12702

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of North Riding of Yorkshire, (1923), 41-42
Grainge, W , The Vale of Mowbray: A Historical and Topographical Account of Thirsk and its Neighbourhood, (1859)
Cantor, L, 'Arch Gazetteer' in Medieval Parks of England: A Gazetteer, (1983), 88-90

End of official listing