Medieval hunting lodge at Church Place


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016526

Date first listed: 21-Aug-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 19-Mar-1999


Ordnance survey map of Medieval hunting lodge at Church Place
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Hampshire

District: New Forest (District Authority)

Parish: Denny Lodge

National Park: NEW FOREST

National Grid Reference: SU3335506888


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 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 hunting lodge at Church Place survives in good condition with little significant disturbance. Surviving archaeological deposits will provide information about the construction, layout and use of the lodge. They will also provide an insight into its economy and the possible factors leading to its eventual decline and abandonment. The location of the lodge in close proximity to a campsite and public footpath gives it added significance as a potential public amenity, and its relationship to other surviving components of the hunting forest, notably a park pale to the west, will provide further opportunities to understand their relationship and function.


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


The monument includes the remains of a medieval hunting lodge situated on the eastern extremity of a ridge at Church Place in the New Forest. The location of the lodge is indicated by earthwork banks and an external ditch which enclose a sub-rectangular raised platform measuring approximately 35m north to south and a maximum of 40m east to west. The banks are up to 4.5m in width and approximately 0.6m in height. A widening of the bank at the north eastern corner of the platform and a slight projection into the ditch possibly represent the location of a structure, whilst a break in the southern bank up to 10m in width probably indicates the site of the original entrance. Fragmentary traces of an external ditch measuring a maximum of 3m in width and up to 0.3m in depth are visible, particularly on the northern and western sides of the platform. The southern and eastern sides of the monument have been disturbed by tree planting and erosion. Additonal earthworks are associated with this monument, notably park pales occur to the west, and are the subject of separate schedulings. Documents record that Edward III spent time in the New Forest during the summer of 1366, for which reason repairs were made to several lodges, one of which was referred to as Houndesdoun. The occurrence of a similar name in close proximity to Church Place and the similarity of the earthworks to other known lodge sites suggest that Houndesdoun and Church Place are one and the same.

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: 30269

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Colvin, H M, The History of the King's Works, (1963)
Sumner, H, The Ancient Earthworks of the New Forest, (1917)
Hampshire County Council, SU 30 NW 37,
Holyoak, V, Cut through NE corner of bank, (1998)
Holyoak, V, Cut through W bank, (1998)
Stamper, P.A., Unpublished thesis, 1983,

End of official listing