Park Pale, Ruislip


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021402

Date first listed: 28-Feb-2006


Ordnance survey map of Park Pale, Ruislip
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1021402 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 15-Dec-2018 at 06:24:56.


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

County: Greater London Authority

District: Hillingdon (London Borough)

National Grid Reference: TQ 09524 88964


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 Park Pale, Ruislip despite only representing about a third of the original circuit, survives as a clearly visible earthwork and is associated with other monuments of the Saxon and Norman period. It is known to be one of only two such Parks mentioned in Middlesex in the Domesday survey and as such is a rare and important historical site. Its archaeological survival along this section will provide the potential for further evidence of the early development of such Parks prior to the Norman Conquest and of the construction methods used. In addition, later records record the date of repaling and such opportunities to link documentary and archaeological events are uncommon. The site lies in public open space and the earthwork is valued for its historical importance by the local community.


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


The monument includes a continuous section of park pale and ditch which form the surviving northern side of Ruislip Park. The section is roughly 1.5km long and at the eastern end runs into a section of later medieval earthwork. Ruislip Park was mentioned in the Domesday Survey of 1086 as a 'Park for Woodland Beasts' and is one of only two such Parks in Middlesex mentioned in the survey, the other being Old Park, Enfield. Pinner Deer Park, which is also a scheduled ancient monument, is first recorded in 1273. The Park originally enclosed an area of about 340 acres immediately to the north of St Martin's church at the junction of the roads now known as Bury Street and Eastcote Road. It was oval in plan and the River Pinn crossed it from west to east. About half of the original Park is still open space, partly in Park Wood and the remainder along the edge of the River Pinn. About two thirds of the original park boundary pale have been lost under modern development but this section from just north of Broadwood Avenue in the west through Park Wood survives as a clearly visible earthwork of varying height. The earthwork consists of a substantial earthen bank about 1 metre high and up to 4 metres wide with a ditch towards the outside (north). Although the ditch is partially infilled and water filled in places, it measures between 3m and 6m wide where visible. Although there are a number of sections where the bank has been levelled and where original entrances may once have stood, the buried remains of the ditch and the terminal ends will survive so that the entire surviving section is of archaeological importance. The park pale is known to have been repaled, ie. re-fenced, in 1436 by the then owners King's College. This shows a continued use of the park for containing deer and other animals four hundred years after it was originally built. The Park is believed by some to have been established by the Anglo-Saxon Manor of Wlward Wit at the time of Edward the Confessor, and to be associated with an Anglo-Saxon manor which was possibly on the site of the later motte and bailey (also a scheduled ancient monument).

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: 30902

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Bowlt, E, The Manor of Ruislip, (1989)
Braun, H, 'Transactions' in Earliest Ruislip, , Vol. 1934, (1934)

End of official listing