A 17th century park lodge known as Dobpark Lodge in Dob Park, near Otley


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015630

Date first listed: 31-Jan-1997


Ordnance survey map of A 17th century park lodge known as Dobpark Lodge in Dob Park, near Otley
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Harrogate (District Authority)

Parish: Weston

National Grid Reference: SE 19097 50230


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. 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.

After c.1480, a new type of park began to develop out of the deer park tradition. This combined the deer management and hunting aspects of the medieval deer park with a greater emphasis on moulding the landscape to conform to the aesthetic ideal. Such parks usually adorned the country residences of the powerful and wealthy and were popular until the Civil War. This type of park is usually referred to as a country house park, and formed an intermediate stage in development between the medieval deer park and the later landscape park. Too little of Dob Park remains to determine whether it was originally created as a country house type park, or whether Dobpark Lodge represents an embellishment of a pre-existing medieval deer park. The isolated situation may indicate the latter. In either case, Dobpark Lodge is an unusual survival of a building associated with the country park tradition. It was built in the early 17th century by the Vavasour family, has undergone little subsequent alteration, and parts still survive to their full height. Architecturally, the building displays features typical of the country houses of the wealthy elite of the time. It is a development of the medieval hall, embellished with corner turrets and an impressive symmetrical facade with many large cross-mullioned windows and a central oriel window. This ruined hunting lodge is the only surviving evidence for the medieval Dob Park. The ruins retain significant architectural detail and allow the original form and layout of the lodge to be substantially determined.


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


The monument includes the remains of a park lodge in Dob Park, south of Dobpark Wood, c.375m west of Middle Farm, Weston, near Otley. The lodge measures c.16m along the south west front facade, and c.13m from front to rear. It consists of the remains of a central 10m square tower, with a corner turret 4m square at each end of its south west facade. The north western of these turrets still survives to its full height of four storeys. On the rear, north east side of the main tower is a 3m square stair tower. This survives to a height of three stories, as does the adjacent portion of the main tower. The main tower also survives to its full extent of three storeys adjacent to the north west turret. Elsewhere, the walls of the main tower and the turret at the south east end of the front facade survive to a height of less than one storey, c.1m-1.5m, and have been capped with coping stones which are cemented in place. Much of the latter may have been rebuilt on the original foundations, for use as a sheepfold. The lodge probably dates from the early 17th century and was built for Sir Mauger Vavasour whose ancestry can be traced back to Norman times. It is thought to have been a forest lodge occupied by a branch of the Vavasour family of Weston Hall. During the Civil War, it is said to have been shelled by Cromwell's soldiers. It is Listed Grade II.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number: 29152

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing