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Sections of two deer park pales and a deer park pond at Killerton Park

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Sections of two deer park pales and a deer park pond at Killerton Park

List entry Number: 1017193


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: East Devon

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Broad Clyst

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 25-Nov-1999

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 29691

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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.

The extent of the Killerton deer park of 1810, and that of the earlier larger deer park at Killerton are well known from documented sources. The only remains of these deer parks in the landscape which are known to survive well are, in both cases, stretches of their western boundaries, although a watering pond also survives with the 1810 example. Where these sections of the pale, and the watering pond, survive well they will retain significant archaeological remains which will contain information on the construction and use of later post-medieval deer parks at a period when they were becoming less fashionable across the country as a whole and when few newly created deer parks were being built as a consequence.


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


The monument, which falls into two separate areas of protection, includes two lengths of deer park pale, one dating from the 18th century or earlier, whilst the other dates from the early 19th century. Both sections represent part of the surviving pales of a former deer park lying within the grounds of Killerton Park. The early 19th century deer park pale has a contemporary purpose built watering pond at its northern end. An estate map of 1756 shows that a deer park of 135 acres in extent, located to the north of Killerton House, had been constructed at some time in the 18th century or before in order to enclose an area from which the deer could not escape. According to documentary sources the deer park pale comprised a bank, wall, and ditch, whilst a wooden paling was maintained along the top of the bank. A 920m length of part of the western boundary of this deer park pale has been identified to have survived, with its component features largely intact although nothing is visible of the wooden paling. It runs approximately north-south from the south bank of the River Culm to the Bears Hut near Killerton House. A short section of about 30m in Park Wood is missing, having been replaced by a cottage garden wall in the later 19th century. The deer park bank stands 2.2m high and it is faced on the inside by a drystone wall. Adjacent to the wall throughout its length is a ditch with a flat bottom and an angled slope which together account for an average width of about 8.5m before the natural ground surface once again resumes. Material from the ditch was piled on the outer side of the pale to produce a low bank which varies in width between 3m and 5m; this produced a barrier with a maximum width of 13.5m. A single narrow gap in the wall leading into Columbjohn Wood is probably original but other occasional gaps in the bank are considered to be relatively modern. The original deer park was much reduced in size in 1810 when a new western boundary was constructed well within the grounds of the former enclosure. A looping length of just over 1100m of this later pale has been identified to have survived, running south, almost from the River Culm, to the northern slopes of the Dolbury hillfort. The surviving boundary comprises a bank created by a cut into the natural ground surface. This formed a vertical face 1.5m high, the inside of which is revetted by a wall of pitched local stone. Running in tandem with the wall is a flat bottomed ditch, which, together with its angled inner slope, averages 5m in width. Soil from the ditch was heaped behind the wall to form a low rise to the bank which attains a width of 2.5m, thus producing a width for the barrier as a whole of about 7.5m. Although a wooden paling once stood atop the bank, there are no visible remains of this. Gates through the wall and bank are considered to be relatively modern. At the northern end of the ditched pale, where it stopped short of the River Culm, it was replaced by a fence. Within the fence the deer park was provided with a watering pond which although partly infilled with soil and stone blocks, survives as a significant depression which still holds a body of water. It has dimensions of 37m east-west by 16m north-south. The deer park appears in the estate records for Killerton Park for the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The reduction in size in 1810 is particularly well recorded. It was planned by John Veitch in 1808 for Sir Thomas Acland and meticulous accounts were kept for the amounts spent when building commenced two years later. For example, the watering pond was sunk on August 12th 1810 at a total cost of 10 pounds and 4 shillings. The deer park finally went out of use in 1919. Killerton Park is registered Grade II* in the parks and gardens Register. All modern fencing and gates, cattle grids, all modern wooden bridges and steps and timber horse jumps are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all of these features 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.

Selected Sources

Box 1148M, Acland Papers MSS, (1809)
Labourers Accounts Box 1148M, Acland Papers MSS, (1780)
Title: Killerton Estate Map Source Date: 1756 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

National Grid Reference: SS 96959 00506, SS 97207 00541


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This copy shows the entry on 22-Nov-2017 at 11:19:15.

End of official listing