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HER Number:MDV14219
Name:Okehampton Deer Park. Okehampton Hamlets

Summary

Okehampton Park was created between 1291 and 1306. Deer bones found during excavations at Okehampton Castle show that native red deer had been replaced by fallow deer by around 1300. It was disparked in the 16th century but retained its identity. It is shown on Donn's map of 1765 and outlined in a survey of 1780. It is considered that the bounds of the park, which enclose about 8 square kilometres, are the same as those of medieval deer park. Part of the park was taken over as a military training camp in the 19th century.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 583 929
Map Sheet:SX59SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishOkehampton Hamlets
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishOKEHAMPTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX59SE7
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX59SE/63
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX59SE7
  • Pastscape: 440861
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • DEER PARK (Created, XIII to XIV - 1291 AD to 1306 AD (Between))

Full description

Shirley, E. P., 1867, Some Account of English Deerparks, 90 (Monograph). SDV314505.

The park is marked on Saxton's map (16th century) and is mentioned in Dr. Borde's list written during the time of Henry VIII.


Amery, P. F. S., 1900-1901, A Tour across Dartmoor into North Devon by the Rev. John Swete 1789, 120 (Article in Serial). SDV18670.

Of great extent, being 9 miles in circumference.


Donn, B., 1965, A Map of the County of Devon, 1765 (Reprint) (Monograph). SDV336413.


Linehan, C. D., 1966, Deserted Sites and Rabbit-Warrens on Dartmoor, Devon, 125-128 (Article in Serial). SDV307246.

Okehampton Park lies to the south and aouth-west of the town and castle between the two Okement rivers. The Medieval park was mentioned in 13th century charters and was deforested by Henry VIII.


Balkwill, C. J., 1976, Archaeology and Development in Rural Devon, 17-18, plan (Report - Survey). SDV343024.

Okehampton park. Documentary evidence suggests the deerpark was created between 1291 and 1306, by the Courtenay family, who also refurbished the castle in the early 14th century. By 1526, the park was seemingly in the hands of Catherine of Aragon. It had been dis-parked by 1545, although it subsequently retained its identity. In 1755, it enclosed 1584 acres, and had been used as a stocking ground for sheep, horses and bullocks, certainly since 1727. The 18th century park also contained limestone quarries and kilns. It is outlined in a survey of 1780. The boundaries of 1780 may be the same as those in 1306.


Austin, D., 1978, Excavations in Okehampton Deerpark, Devon (Article in Serial). SDV217971.

The creation of the park probably led to the desertion of the dispersed farmsteads, although there are some dating problems. Little is known of the park's management management between 1306 and 1538 when it was dispaled. The park in the survey of 1780 is probably identical to the 14th century one. The boundaries of the park are mainly watercourses, although there is a a stretch of wall from Moor Brook to Red-A-Ven Brook, and traces of a ditch 2 metres wide and 1.5 metres deep along Black Down to the south-west corner of the park. The park bounds funnelled into the main gate of the castle. There are documentary references to active management in the 18th century such as parkwall building, and by 1841 the park was divided into west and east. Pollen analysis reflects the changes of use. One of the deserted sites within the park may be the hunting lodge


King, A. C., 1979, A30 Okehampton Bypass: Final Report, No. 61 (Report - Survey). SDV343861.


Austin, D. + Daggett, R. H. + Walker, M. J. C., 1980, Farms and fields in Okehampton Park, 39-58 (Article in Serial). SDV324998.


Gallant, L., 1986, Deer Parks and Paddocks of England (Un-published). SDV656.

According to Swete, writing in the 18th century, the park at Okehampton was separated from the castle by the West Okement river. The large park had a circumference of 9 miles bounded on the east by the East Okement river on the north and part of the west by the West Okement river and towards Dartmoor by a strong wall. According to Pole in 1635 the park was alienated and disparked in the 16th century.


Griffith, F. M., 1988, Devon's Past. An Aerial View, 76 (Monograph). SDV64198.

Recent excavations at the castle have produced evidence in the form of bones that the native stock of red deer was replaced by imported fallow deer in around 1300, presumably for the sake of the hunting. The boundary of the park may have been the same as the large enclosure which can still be made out on the map today, although there is no documentary evidence for the existence of this enclosure earlier than the 18th century. Parts of the present park have been obliterated by the army camp at the east and the ballast quarry at the west. Within the park the upstanding remains of a number of scattered medieval farmsteads survive.


Pattison, P., 1992, Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Field Investigation (Report - Survey). SDV218008.


Wessex Archaeology, 2001, Okehampton Camp Devon. Archaeological Desk Based Assessment and Earthwork Survey, 10, Appendix 1 (Report - Survey). SDV360511.

Okehampton Park was emparked sometime between 1296 and 1306. This emparking of some 1660 acres has been considered to be the reason why farmsteads and fields within the area were abandoned. The Tithe map indicates that in 1841 the area was unenclosed common land. No earthworks or features are marked. During the 19th century the area of the former park was re-enclosed with the substantial drystone wall that forms the southern camp boundary today. A new rectilinear layout of fields was established at about the same time using walls rather than banks. The Ordnance Survey map of 1886 shows that the area now occupied by the military camp was defined and apparently already in military use by this time.


Wessex Archaeology, 2002, Okehampton Camp. Archaeological Building Recording Survey and Final Earthwork Survey Report, 4 (Report - Survey). SDV348121.

Okehampton Park was emparked sometime between 1296 and 1306. This emparking of some 1660 acres has been considered to be the reason why farmsteads and fields within the area were abandoned. The Tithe map indicates that in 1841 the area was unenclosed common land. No earthworks or features are marked. During the 19th century the area of the former park was re-enclosed with the substantial drystone wall that forms the southern camp boundary today. A new rectilinear layout of fields was established at about the same time using walls rather than banks. The Ordnance Survey map of 1886 shows that the area now occupied by the military camp was defined and apparently already in military use by this time.


Probert, S. A. J., 2004, Okehampton Castle and Park, West Devon: Survey Report (Report - Survey). SDV324949.

Map object based on this Source.


English Heritage, 2005, Medieval Survey Information (Report - Survey). SDV345602.

Map object based on this Source.


National Monument Record, 2014, Pastscape (Website). SDV355682.

The remains of the former deer park. Okehampton was the principal park in Devon but was disparked during Henry VIII's reign. Parts of the pale are visible and edges of the park are also contained by dry stone walls.
The modern A30 overlies the old road (shown on Donn's map) which bordered the park to the north and the East Okement River formed the eastern boundry. The south and the west sides are represented as a pale on Donn's map but the sinuous 1.3m high dry stone wall which extends rom Meldon Quarry (SX 56699218), through to the south of Okehampton Camp (SX 59089290) and down the valley to join the river at SX 59729363 probably denotes the limits of the former park (citing OSA). Record last updated: N/A


Unknown, Unknown, Harlean mss/5287/149 (Unknown). SDV215422.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Unknown, SX59SE7 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV357607.

Site visit 17th October 1974. The former okehampton park extended over approximately 8 square kilometres and incorporated the area of the ?13c settlement centred SX580930.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV18670Article in Serial: Amery, P. F. S.. 1900-1901. A Tour across Dartmoor into North Devon by the Rev. John Swete 1789. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 1. Unknown. 120.
SDV215422Unknown: Unknown. Unknown. Harlean mss/5287/149. Harlean mss/5287/149. Unknown.
SDV217971Article in Serial: Austin, D.. 1978. Excavations in Okehampton Deerpark, Devon. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. Unknown.
SDV218008Report - Survey: Pattison, P.. 1992. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Field Investigation. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Field/Recording In. A4 Bound.
SDV307246Article in Serial: Linehan, C. D.. 1966. Deserted Sites and Rabbit-Warrens on Dartmoor, Devon. Medieval Archaeology. 10. Digital. 125-128.
SDV314505Monograph: Shirley, E. P.. 1867. Some Account of English Deerparks. Some Account of English Deerparks. Unknown. 90.
SDV324949Report - Survey: Probert, S. A. J.. 2004. Okehampton Castle and Park, West Devon: Survey Report. English Heritage Report. AI/03/2004. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV324998Article in Serial: Austin, D. + Daggett, R. H. + Walker, M. J. C.. 1980. Farms and fields in Okehampton Park. Landscape History. 2. Unknown. 39-58.
SDV336413Monograph: Donn, B.. 1965. A Map of the County of Devon, 1765 (Reprint). A Map of the County of Devon, 1765 (Reprint). Hardback Volume.
SDV343024Report - Survey: Balkwill, C. J.. 1976. Archaeology and Development in Rural Devon. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. 2. A4 Stapled. 17-18, plan.
SDV343861Report - Survey: King, A. C.. 1979. A30 Okehampton Bypass: Final Report. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. Mixed Archive Material. No. 61.
SDV345602Report - Survey: English Heritage. 2005. Medieval Survey Information. English Heritage Report. Digital. [Mapped feature: #81176 ]
SDV348121Report - Survey: Wessex Archaeology. 2002. Okehampton Camp. Archaeological Building Recording Survey and Final Earthwork Survey Report. Wessex Archaeology Report. 50182. A4 Comb Bound + Digital. 4.
SDV355682Website: National Monument Record. 2014. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website.
SDV357607Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown. SX59SE7. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV360511Report - Survey: Wessex Archaeology. 2001. Okehampton Camp Devon. Archaeological Desk Based Assessment and Earthwork Survey. Wessex Archaeology Report. 50171. A4 Comb Bound. 10, Appendix 1.
SDV64198Monograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1988. Devon's Past. An Aerial View. Devon's Past. An Aerial View. Paperback Volume. 76.
SDV656Un-published: Gallant, L.. 1986. Deer Parks and Paddocks of England. Deer Parks and Paddocks of England. Manuscript.

Associated Monuments

MDV67976Related to: Barrow north of Okehampton Training Camp (Monument)
MDV109516Related to: Building 82 (formerly Harness Room 1), Okehampton Camp (Building)
MDV4806Related to: Deserted Medieval Settlements, Sites 52-59, at Okehampton (Monument)
MDV20315Related to: Medieval Field System, Okehampton Park (Monument)
MDV14326Related to: Okehampton Castle (Building)
MDV64026Related to: Okehampton Royal Artillery Training Camp (Monument)
MDV20156Related to: Prehistoric Cairn 400 metres north of Moor Gate, Okehampton Hamlets (Monument)
MDV108833Related to: Remains of Medieval Building in Okehampton Park (Building)
MDV7650Related to: Two Medieval Longhouses in Okehampton Park, Okehampton Hamlets (Building)
MDV70200Related to: Zig-zag trench near St Michael's Bungalow, Okehampton (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7620 - Okehampton Artillary Range
  • EDV3474 - Earthwork survey of Okehampton Castle and Park

Date Last Edited:Jan 11 2019 2:11PM