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HER Number:MDV60410
Name:Deer Park Pale and Pond at Killerton


An earthwork ditch defining the eastern edge of Park Wood at Killerton Park is visible as earthworks on digital images derived from lidar data. The ditch is probably the remains of a Deer Park Pale of 18th century or earlier date. A pond at the northern terminus may be a contemporary watering pond


Grid Reference:SS 972 008
Map Sheet:SS90SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBroad Clyst
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBROADCLYST

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS90SE/33/1
  • Old SAM Ref: 29691.02

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BOUNDARY (XVIII to XXI - 1701 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description


At above ngr to ss97250049. Section of early 19th century deer park pale and a watering pond at killerton. The original deer park at killerton park was much reduced in size in 1810 when a new w boundary was constructed well within the grounds of the former enclosure. A length of just over 1100m of this later pale has been identified to have survived, running s, almost from the river culm, to the n slopes of the dolbury hillfort, although this length includes a huge loop which takes in ground to the w. The surviving boundary comprises of a bank created by a cut into the natural ground surface. This formed a vertical face 1.5m high, the inside 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 slope, averages 5m in width. Soil from the ditch was mounded 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 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 n end of the ditched pale, which stopped short of the river culm and was replaced by a 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 e-w by 16m n-s. The deer park appears in the estate records for killerton park with the adjustment in size in 1810 particularly well recorded. The latter was planned by john veitch in 1808 for sir thomas acland and meticulous accounts were kept for the amounts spent when building commenced 2 years later. For example, the watering pond was sunk on august 12th 1810 at a total cost of £10 and 4 shillings. The deer park finally went out of use in 1919 (mpp).

Untitled Source (National Monuments Record Database). SDV133138.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV133139.

Des=acland papers mss/1148m.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV133140.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV133141.

Des=nt/archaeological site monitoring report/(1994).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV133142.

Des=the national trust/killerton estate archaeological survey: part 1: the park & garden/(2000)56/copy in smr.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV133143.

Des=hhr:register of parks and gardens of special historic interest in england(devon)/(august 2003).

National Trust, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV52.

Vis=16/6/1994 (griffiths + gibbons) wall generally in good condition, fall of stone repaired. No evidence of invasive vegetation (nt).

Devon County Council, 1838-1848, Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848 (Cartographic). SDV349431.

The earthwork ditch largely corresponds with a depicted enclosure boundary.

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

The earthwork ditch largely corresponds with a depicted enclosure boundary.

Environment Agency, 2005-2012, LiDAR DTM data JPEG image (1m resolution), LIDAR SS9600 Environment Agency JPEG DTM 19-DEC-2005 (Cartographic). SDV357033.

A curvilinear shallow earthwork ditch was visible.

Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R., 2014-2015, East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV356883.

A shallow ditch at Killerton Park was visible as an earthwork on digital images derived from lidar data. The earthworks are obscured from view by tree cover on all aerial photography available to the survey. The ditch is probably the remains of a section of Deer Park Pale of 18th century or earlier date. The ditch was visible as an earthwork 8 to 9 metres wide with traces of a very slight bank visible on its eastern edge, defining the eastern edge of Park Wood for almost 1200 metres. The southern end terminates at Dolbury Hillfort and the northern at an oval pond at circa SS97340130. The earthworks correspond with boundaries depicted on both the Tithe Map for Killerton and the Ordnance Survey First Edition 25 inch map and have therefore not been transcribed by the survey.

Historic England, 2018, Sections of two deer park pales and a deer park pond at Killerton Park, Broadclyst
park pond at Killerton Park
(Schedule Document). SDV360827.

An aerial photograph interpretive survey of Mid-Devon was undertaken between 2014 and 2016 by Devon County Council Historic Environment Team on behalf of Historic England (then English Heritage). One of the principal aims of this National Mapping Programme was to improve understanding and inform decisions with regard to the management and preservation of the historic environment, and a number of scheduled monuments, including 'Sections of two deer park pales and watering pond' (List No: 1017193) on the Killerton Estate, were recommended for amendment.

The sections of park pale and associated pond were scheduled in 1999. They are located within Killerton
Park, a Grade II* Registered Park and Garden, which along with Killerton House (Grade II*) is open to the
public. Dolbury Hillfort, situated to the south of the eastern park pale, is also a scheduled monument.

As part of a ten-year management plan within a Higher Level Environmental Stewardship Scheme for the Killerton Estate, scheduled monument consent was approved for a programme of repairs and stabilisation work to the two deer park pales. This work, together with archaeological monitoring, was carried out in 2015-2016.

An assessment of Lidar-derived imagery as part of the National Mapping Programme (Historic England and Devon County Council), a walkover survey and desk-based research, as well as archaeological monitoring during a programme of repairs (with scheduled monument consent) to the park pales in 2015-2016, have provided significant new information which has demonstrated that the evolution and development of this deer park was far more complex than previously appreciated. It is apparent that it variously underwent extensions and contractions over the centuries, most significantly, the shifting of the entire park from west to east in the early C19. Sources indicate that some sections of the park boundary were defined by wooden paling or metal fencing, as depicted in contemporary illustrations, rather than by the substantial embanked pales, the significance of which has been recognised by their designation as a scheduled monument. Although the paling itself does not appear to survive, research has indicated that its position is marked in some places by slight, linear features. In the northern part of the park, for example, a shallow, linear depression is visible on the floodplain of the River Culm and it corresponds with a section of park boundary depicted on the 1842 Tithe Map. Elsewhere, in Columbjohn Wood to the south-west, the Lidar imagery depicts linear features running through this area which may possibly correspond with boundaries shown on the historic maps. Features such as these illustrate variations in the construction and form of the park pale, perhaps in response to local geological and topographical conditions, but they are not as clearly defined as the embanked sections, and may either have been less substantial or subject to degradation over time. Although they contribute to an understanding of the historical development of the deer park, these are slight features and are not recommended for inclusion in the scheduling.

In summary, research recently (2016) undertaken at the Killerton Estate has enhanced the existing records for the deer park, and has provided additional detail and clarity regarding the extent of the site. It is, therefore, recommended that the List entry for 'Sections of two deer park pales and watering pond' (List No: 1017193) be amended to reflect this new information. See listing description for full details.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV133138National Monuments Record Database:
SDV133139Migrated Record:
SDV133140Migrated Record:
SDV133141Migrated Record:
SDV133142Migrated Record:
SDV133143Migrated Record:
SDV331Migrated Record: Unknown. MIGRATED RECORD - MONUMENT PROTECTION PROGRAMME DATA. Monument Protection Programme. Unknown.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV349431Cartographic: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Map. Digital.
SDV356883Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2014-2015. East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV357033Cartographic: Environment Agency. 2005-2012. LiDAR DTM data JPEG image (1m resolution). Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. LIDAR SS9600 Environment Agency JPEG DTM 19-DEC-2005. [Mapped feature: #96600 ]
SDV360827Schedule Document: Historic England. 2018. Sections of two deer park pales and a deer park pond at Killerton Park, Broadclyst park pond at Killerton Park. Amendment to Schedule. Digital.
SDV52Migrated Record: National Trust.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Feb 12 2021 8:00AM