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Historic England Research Records

Hursley Park

Hob Uid: 231092
Location :
Hampshire
Winchester
Hursley
Grid Ref : SU4201025070
Summary : Medieval deer park. Sections of the park pale are scheduled.
More information : [Name centred SU 4214 2555] Hursley Park [T.I.]
[SU 4150 2503 and SU 4163 2496] Fish Pond [T.I.] [Twice]. (1)

The Park of Merdon Castle, now Hursley Park, enclosed by banks
and including fishponds, extends south of the Castle 1 1/2
miles x 3/4 mile wide.

The park's boundary bank in Ampfield Wood is colossal - about a
mile long, with a broad flat top, and can still be traced
almost without a break, except where the castle has obliterated
it to the west. Branching off is another, called Portland Bank,
more than a mile long. This extends west to Hawker's Fir Hill
and turns northwards at Claypit Hill. [The plan shows a
continuation to the north and then a return eastwards to the
Hursley Park pale].

Fishponds [shown at SU 4150 2503 and SU 4163 2496]
Fishpond dams [shown at SU 4196 2404 and SU 4214 2405]. (2)

A considerable part of the medieval pale of Merdon Castle or
Hursley Park survives. It is centred at SU 4201 2507. Minor
mutilations have occurred on the E. and S. sides, and a half
mile of bank has been destroyed without trace in the western
part of the present Hursley Park. Around the northern extremity
of Merdon Castle there is a complex of hollow ways, banks and
ditches from which the pale cannot now be readily
distinguished.

In its present condition the bank averages 6.0 m. wide and
1.0 m. high with an inner ditch 4.0 m wide and 0.3 m deep. A
fragmentary and additional outer ditch is confined to the
western side of the enclosure.

The two fishpond are still water filled. Of the two fishpond
dams referred to by O.G.S. Crawford, only
that at SU 4196 2404 is well defined but no longer acts as a
pond bay. The dam at SU 4213 2403 is simply part of the park
bank which retains the water which collects in a natural hollow
on its northern side.

To the W. of Merdon Park is the adjoining medieval bank
enclosing an area with sides almost 3/4 mile long, centred at
SU 4100 2406. Only the southern side (Portland Bank) is
comparable in size to the park pale, the rest being in very
poor condition and often obliterated by re-afforestation. At
the N.E. corner where it crosses a pasture field and meets the
lane running between Penfold Lodge and Home Farm, it is
doubtful and may be a relatively modern feature. At one point
in the field where it crosses a drain the ditch is not
coincident.

25" surveys have been made of Merdon Park pale, the adjoining
enclosure, and the isolated fishpond dam.

Crawford's plan shows a further bank which curves in an E-W
direction from SU 4122 2489 to SU 4180 2464. It is unrelated to
the Merdon Castle park pale, which it crosses, and the western
enclosure. It is a low bank which seems to mark the boundary
between the 18th C. Hursley Park and Ampfield Wood, and of
little archaeological significance. (3)

No change. (4)

SU 42482614; SU 41812629; SU 41782594; SU 40892517; SU 41702401; SU 42152403. Six sections of park pale, partly surrounding Merdon Inner Park and Out Park, double enclosure deer park of medieval date. Documentary evidence suggests that the enclosures are contemporary and that the pale was constructed during the 12th century by the Bishop of Winchester, after Merdon Castle was converted to a bishop's palace. It remained in use as a deer park boundary until at least the end of the 16th century. At that time the Out Park was reserved as 'wood-pasture' while the Inner Park was compartmented into coppice, meadow, grazing pasture, rabbit warren and fishponds. The sections of pale are scheduled. (5)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : O.S. 6' 1930-38
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Source Number : 2
Source : Archaeology in the field
Source details : 'Archaeology in the Field' 1952, pp.189, 191, 194-5 (Plan) (O.G.S. Crawford)
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Source : SU 42 NW 4 (Merdon Castle) and 5 (Hursley Park) (SU 4226) (1961)
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Source : SU 42 NW 5 (Hursley Park) (SU 4125) (1961)
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Source : 11 42 NW 5 (Hursley Park) (SU 4225) (1961)
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Source : SU 42 NW 5 (Hursley Park) (SU 4223) (1961)
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Source : SU 42 Nw 5 (Hursley Park) (SU 4124)
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Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 NVQ 28-JUL-61
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Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 CFW 08-NOV-68
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Source Number : 5
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 07-Aug-01
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Source : SU 42 NW 5 (Hursley Park) (SU 4025) (1961)
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Source : SU 42 NW 5 (Hursley Park) (SU 4025) (1961)
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Source : SU 42 NW 5 (Hursley Park) (SU 4224) (1961)
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Source : SU 42 NNW 5 (Hursley Park) (SU 4123) (1961)
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Source : SU 42 NW 4 (Merdon Castle) and 5 (Hursley Park) (SU 4126) (1961)
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Deer Park
Evidence : Earthwork, Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Constructed in C12th
Monument End Date : 1199
Monument Start Date : 1100
Monument Type : Park Pale, Deer Park
Evidence : Earthwork, Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : After C16th
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date : 1599
Monument Type : Managed Woodland, Coppice, Meadow, Rabbit Warren, Fishpond
Evidence : Documentary Evidence, Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 34132
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 42 NW 5
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 231087
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 231155
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SU 42 NW 5
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1961-07-28
End Date : 1961-07-28
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SU 42 NW 5
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1968-11-08
End Date : 1968-11-08
Associated Activities : Primary, HURSLEY PARK, HURSLEY
Activity type : MANAGEMENT SURVEY
Start Date : 2003-01-01
End Date : 2004-12-31