Studley Castle royal hunting lodge


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016494

Date first listed: 13-Sep-1963

Date of most recent amendment: 07-Jul-1999


Ordnance survey map of Studley Castle royal hunting lodge
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 11-Dec-2018 at 16:28:29.


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

County: Hampshire

District: New Forest (District Authority)

Parish: Bramshaw

National Park: NEW FOREST

National Grid Reference: SU 22206 16014


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

Reasons for Designation

Forests, in the medieval period, were tracts of land subject to forest law and generally outside the common law of the land. In fact the term `forest', by today's meaning, is something of a misnomer as only about one fifth of legal forest was actually woodland. Forest law was a system devised to preserve for the King's amusement and profit certain designated animals and the trees and pasture which provided shelter and sustenance for them. The main animals hunted were fallow deer, red deer, roe deer and wild boar. Forests had special officials and courts assigned to them; the laws were strictly enforced and provided the King with a steady income from rents, goods and fines. However, the management and exploitation of forest resources also entailed some expenditure. Game were often enclosed within a park pale, a massive fenced or hedged bank, sometimes with an internal ditch, and hunting lodges, usually moated, were built in the forests to provide temporary accommodation for visiting royalty and nobility. Like deer parks, the establishment of hunting forests peaked between the end of the 12th and the middle of the 14th centuries at which point it is estimated to have covered a third of England. The creation of royal forest led to significant changes in the landscape, including the abandonment and destruction of many existing villages and farms. Whilst documentary sources indicate that there were at least five hunting lodges in other Hampshire forests, possible locations for only two have been identified. The seven lodge sites in the New Forest therefore, which are well documented, combined with well preserved stretches of pale, represent a rare and unusually complete survival. As a group these remains provide a rare opportunity to understand the management, development and use of a royal forest. As a consequence, all components with significant surviving remains are considered to be of national importance. The royal hunting lodge at Studley, in the New Forest, survives reasonably well despite some later disturbance by subsequent tree planting and removal, and can be expected to retain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.


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


The monument includes a royal hunting lodge dating to the medieval period, situated in the New Forest on a south-facing spur at the north east end of Islands Thorns Enclosure. The moat surrounding the lodge survives as a shallow ditch and a low inner bank enclosing a square area, 35m across. Both the ditch and bank are 4m-5m wide and the bank stands on average 0.4m above the interior but rises slightly higher at the sharp corners. There is a possible original entrance on the east side formed by a simple causewayed gap through the ditch and bank, but this has been partly disturbed by the modern use of heavy machinery for tree removal. The moat has been breached in three further places by tree removal and a modern path. The interior is divided roughly in half by a slight ditch running in a north-south direction across it, and there is a faint indication of a low central platform situated immediately west of this ditch, approximately 12m in diameter, which may have formed a foundation for the lodge. No visible traces survive of the lodge itself, although pieces of slate and medieval tile have been observed on the site and further buried remains can be expected to survive. Historical records indicate that the original structure was built between 1358 and 1361, that it included a kitchen, and was of timber frame and plaster construction, with a roof of Purbeck and Cornish slates. It formed part of a set of four lodges constructed at the same time in the New Forest for Edward III, the principal one of which, Hatheburg, was situated near Lyndhurst and was constructed on a grander scale including a King's chamber, chapel, hall and outbuildings. At least three other royal hunting lodges are known to have been constructed in the New Forest during the 13th and 14th centuries.

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: 32542

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Colvin, H M, The History of the King's Works, (1963), 983-6
Sumner, H, The Ancient Earthworks of the New Forest, (1917), 64
Williams-Freeman, JP, Introduction to field archaeology as illustrated by Hampshire, (1915), 109,367
'Hampshire Field Club New Forest Section Report' in Hampshire Field Club New Forest Section Report, , Vol. 6, (1969), 6

End of official listing