Deerpound on Toot Hill

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1011163
Date first listed:
03-Dec-1951
Date of most recent amendment:
19-Oct-1993

Map

Ordnance survey map of Deerpound on Toot Hill
© 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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Location

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

District:
Cheshire East (Unitary Authority)
Parish:
Macclesfield Forest and Wildboarclough
National Park:
PEAK DISTRICT
National Grid Reference:
SJ 97156 72044

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 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 deerpound on Toot Hill survives well. Limited early 20th century excavation found evidence for a building or shelter and further structural evidence facilitating a greater understanding of deer park management activities will exist within the enclosure.

Details

The monument is a medieval deerpound located on the summit of Toot Hill in Macclesfield Forest, originally a Royal Forest. It includes a banked and ditched sub-rectangular enclosure that is approached from the south-west by a hollow way. The enclosure measures approximately 44m by 35m internally and contains a low, centrally-placed, raised platform measuring 16m by 15m and faint traces of a hollow way leading from the platform to the western corner of the enclosure. Surrounding the enclosure is a ditch up to 2m wide by 0.5m deep. The upcast from this ditch has been used to create an internal bank measuring up to 3m wide by 0.4m high. There are also traces of an outer bank 2m wide and 0.1m high flanking the ditch at the northern and southern corners. Access to the enclosure is provided by an entrance 3m wide at the mid-point of the north-eastern side of the enclosure and a causeway 3m wide on the south- eastern side close to the southern corner. On the south-western side, close to the western corner, a hollow way 4m wide runs from the ditch in a south- westerly direction for a distance of approximately 40m. In Domesday seven hays or enclosures used in medieval hunting were mentioned as being situated in Macclesfield Manor. Limited early 20th century excavations on the bank and within the central platform found stone roofing tiles indicating that a building or shelter formerly existed here. Slight banks and ditches running from the western and eastern corners of the enclosure are thought to be old field boundaries and are not included in the scheduling.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number:
23611
Legacy System:
RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Manchester and District Branch of the Classical Association, (1909)
Dodgson, J McN, The Place Names of Cheshire Part 1, (1970), 127
Earwaker, J P, East Cheshire Past and Present, (1882), 437-8
Sainter, J D, Scientific Rambles Around Macclesfield, (1878), 17-18
Thomas, F, 'Trans Lancs & Chesh Antiq Soc' in , , Vol. 70, (1960), 84-7

Legal

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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