Medieval hunting lodge in Queen Bower
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 31-Mar-2020 at 07:11:47.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- New Forest (District Authority)
- National Park:
- NEW FOREST
- National Grid Reference:
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 or 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 Hampshire forests other than the New Forest, possible locations for
only two have been identified. Therefore, the seven lodge sites in the New
Forest, 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 remains of the hunting lodge within Queen Bower survive in good condition with little significant disturbance. As a result of the survival of contemporary documentation relating to the lodge, the site is comparatively well understood, but archaeological deposits will provide additional important information about the construction, layout and use of the lodge, its economy, the nature and extent of the structures related to it and the possible factors leading to its eventual decline and abandonment.
The monument includes the remains of a medieval hunting lodge situated on a
plateau within Queen Bower in the New Forest.
The location of the lodge is indicated by earthwork banks, an external ditch
and a scarp which enclose a rectangular platform measuring approximately 55m
north west to south east and 45m north east to south west. The banks are a
maximum of 7m in width, up to 1m in height and define the south western, north
western and north eastern sides of the platform. The south eastern edge of the
platform is defined by a slight scarp. Breaks in the north western bank and
the south eastern scarp may indicate entrances at these points. The possible
presence of internal structures is suggested by a mound up to 11m in diameter
and 1.8m in height formed by a widening in the bank at the northern corner of
the platform and by two slight linear banks projecting inwards from the
eastern corner. Further evidence for structures is provided by finds of Devon
slate from the adjacent stream bed. The external ditch or moat, now dry,
measures a maximum of 8m in width and up to 1.2m in depth and has the remains
of leats projecting from its eastern and western corners defined by short
linear depressions. The monument has been disturbed by the construction of a
19th century drainage ditch known as Fletchers Water which bisects its north
western and north eastern sides.
A document dated to 1428 mentions several royal lodges in the New Forest by
name, including one at Queneboure, which is a clear reference to this
monument. The document remarks that `It appears that the said lodges are
ruinous, and would have fallen to the ground, but for the expenditure done on
them by Thomas earl of Salisbury and count of Perche, keeper of the said
forest, out of his own goods'. The result was the issue of a Royal Commission
to cut and sell sufficient timber to provide the necessary finance for the
repair of the lodges. Contemporary sources record that between 1432 and 1440 a
further 200 pounds was spent on the lodges by Richard Clyvedon, who in in July
1435 was appointed clerk and surveyor of the king's works in the New Forest.
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
Colvin, H M, The History of the King's Works, (1963)
Sumner, H, The Ancient Earthworks of the New Forest, (1917)
Queen Bowyer Hunting Lodge 1/625, (1969)
Stamper, P.A., Unpublished thesis, 1983,
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