Fyling medieval deer park wall section


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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

North Yorkshire
Scarborough (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
NZ 93384 02927

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 extent of the deer park at Fyling can still be identified in the landscape although only sections of the park boundary wall at the south and west are currently known to survive well. Where the wall does survive well, significant archaeological remains will be preserved below the wall and in the partly infilled ditch. The wall is particularly unusual in having the crosses built into it; a motif thought to symbolise the monastic ownership. The wall is important for understanding medieval building techniques and with its setting in the wider deer park offers important scope for understanding both medieval animal husbandry and the role of monasteries in the wider landscape.


The monument includes a length of the surviving medieval park wall and ditch which formerly surrounded Fyling deer park. The monument includes part of the south and south west sides of the park wall with remains of the ditch on the internal side. The original extent of the medieval deer park can still be identified in the layout of the landscape in this area; however only this section of the wall has been identified to survive. The wall and ditch served to enclose a deer park and was constructed to prevent deer from escaping. The wall no longer survives to its original height and in some places has partly collapsed and been rebuilt on the surviving medieval wall.

The medieval wall is built of roughly squared blocks and is at least two stones thick along its length. At regular intervals along most of the southern stretch are large and well shaped stones which are arranged in the form of a cross. The crosses are made up of six equally sized stones two of which run through the thickness of the wall. Some 30 crosses survive completely and the fragments of others can be identified in places where the wall has been subsequently rebuilt. In some places the wall is built on an earth and stone bank up to 0.85m high.

On the inside of the park wall are remains of the ditch. This has been partly filled in over the years and in some places survives as a shallow hollow up to 2m wide. Elsewhere the ditch is no longer visible as an earthwork although significant remains will be preserved below the ground.

Fyling Park was a deer park of the abbot of Whitby and was part of a hunting forest which extended from Whitby to Hackness. Fyling park was laid out in the 12th century and continued in use until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536. The new owners let the park fall into disuse by the 17th century and the bulk of the stones from the wall were taken away and reused elsewhere.

All gates and fences are excluded from the scheduling although 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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
'Trans. Scarborough and District Archaeological Society' in Fyling Park, , Vol. VOL 3, (1974), 9-11


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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