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HER Number:MDV19791
Name:Wiscombe Deerpark, Southleigh


Former deer park at Wiscombe Park


Grid Reference:SY 188 930
Map Sheet:SY19SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishSouthleigh
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSOUTHLEIGH

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SY19SE/36/1

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • DEER PARK (XIII to XVII - 1201 AD to 1700 AD (Between))
  • LANDSCAPE PARK (XVIII to XIX - 1701 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

RCHME, Untitled Source (Report - Survey). SDV116356.

Vis=3/3/1989 (rchme) medieval deer park at wiscombe park, centred sy18859290. Seems to have originated in the reign of henry iii (1216-1272) when wiscombe was granted by the priory of otterton to sir nicholas bonville who made his home here and had a large park for deer. The extent and structure of the park is shown and listed in a 17c survey, a map showing the park boundary and an internal area divided into 6 farms totalling 640 acres, with a field pattern almost identical to today's, this survey, together with a wealth of documentation from the early 17c, is outlined by hoskins.

AREA DELINEATED ON OS 1:10,560 MAP, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV116357.

The park occupies the head and upper regions of a steep-sided valley, drained by a feeder stream of the river coly. The n + s boundaries run along the valley sides, close to the crests. The e + w boundaries cross the valley profiles. The park perimeter as shown in the 17c (area delineated on os 1:10,560 map) was walked in totality; the long length of hedge bank noted by os on the nw is indeed likely to be the pale; it is a massive earthen bank 3-5m wide and 1.5-2.5m high with slight (probably quite recent) ditches to either side.

NMR, CITING PATTISON, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV116358.

The stretch continuing e along the southleigh road to sy18959363 is also quite impressive; it too maybe a modified pale. The southleigh - farway parish boundary coincides with the park boundary on these nw + n sides (nmr, citing pattison).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV116361.

Shirley, e. P. /some account of english deerparks/(1867)89-90.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV116363.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV116364.

Hoskins, w. G. /devon/(1954)479.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV116365.

Des=gallant, l. /deer parks/(1986)/manuscript in smr.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV116367.

Gray, t. /the garden history of devon: an illustrated guide to sources/(1995)241.

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

Wiscan, wischum or wiscombe. Deerpark mentioned by leland (c 1540) and also by dr borde temp henry viii (shirley).

Fox, H. S. A., 1972, Field Systems of East and South Devon: Part 1, 106 (Article in Serial). SDV111337.

Wiscombe. Deer park later divided into numerous closes when leased as farmland.

Salvatore, J. P., 1998, Deer Park at Wiscombe (Southleigh) (Un-published). SDV348409.

Site visit 24th November 1998. The deer park at Wiscombe is mentioned by Leland circa 1540 and is know primarily from documentary sources. The extent is known from a 17th century survey and is still traceable on the ground. The boundaries are formed by hedgebanks which are largely indistinguishable from ordinary Devon hedgebanks. No clearly identifiable remains of Nationally Important deer park pales were seen during the course of the Monument Protection Programme field investigation. Although a substantial stretch of bank was observed, 1.75 metres high and 3-5 metres wide, from SY17549361 to SY17749423, other sections of bank, not thought to be part of the pale, were found to be of similar dimensions. Not recommended for scheduling.

Devon Gardens Trust, 1999, Devon Local Register, 151 (Un-published). SDV170167.

Exeter Archaeology, 2003-2004, East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey, 403 (Archive - Survey). SDV351568.

Medieval deer park at Wiscombe Park. Probably originated in 13th century when Wiscombe was granted to Nicholas Bonville. A 17th century survey shows park boundary and internal area divided into 6 farms with field pattern almost identical to that of today (1989). Boundaries marked by substantial hedgebanks.

Devon Gardens Trust, 2013, Devon Gazetteer of Parks and Gardens of Local Interest (Reg/Local list of Historic Parks and Gdns). SDV354335.

Clark, J. + Richardson, D., 2013, Wiscombe Park (Un-published). SDV358357.

Stockdale described Wiscombe Park as ‘a very interesting mansion of the Elizabethan style of architecture built about 1826 on the site of the old manor house being situated in a richly wooded vale, has a very pleasing appearance. This estate in early times belonged to the priory of Otterton and was granted in the reign of Henry the third to Sir William Bonville Knight, in whose time the Park was well stocked with deer. In digging the foundation a large quantity of their horns was discovered.
About a quarter of a mile from Wiscombe there are remains of an ancient fortification, called Blackbury Castle, now covered with forest trees.’ The conservatory has been partly rebuilt.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV111337Article in Serial: Fox, H. S. A.. 1972. Field Systems of East and South Devon: Part 1. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 104. A5 Paperback. 106.
SDV116356Report - Survey: RCHME.
SDV116357Migrated Record: AREA DELINEATED ON OS 1:10,560 MAP.
SDV116358Migrated Record: NMR, CITING PATTISON.
SDV116361Migrated Record:
SDV116363Migrated Record:
SDV116364Migrated Record:
SDV116365Migrated Record:
SDV116367Migrated Record:
SDV170167Un-published: Devon Gardens Trust. 1999. Devon Local Register. Devon Local Register of Parks and Gardens of Local Historic Interest. A4 Stapled + Digital. 151.
SDV314505Monograph: Shirley, E. P.. 1867. Some Account of English Deerparks. Some Account of English Deerparks. Unknown.
SDV348409Un-published: Salvatore, J. P.. 1998. Deer Park at Wiscombe (Southleigh). Monuments Protection Programme. Report on Site for which Scheduling is Not . A4 Single Sheet.
SDV351568Archive - Survey: Exeter Archaeology. 2003-2004. East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey. East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey. Digital + Mixed Archive Material. 403.
SDV354335Reg/Local list of Historic Parks and Gdns: Devon Gardens Trust. 2013. Devon Gazetteer of Parks and Gardens of Local Interest. Historic Parks and Gardens - Register and Local List. Digital.
SDV358357Un-published: Clark, J. + Richardson, D.. 2013. Wiscombe Park. Devon Local Register of Parks and Gardens of Local Historic Interest. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV10824Related to: Wiscombe Park (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:May 31 2018 3:48PM