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HER Number:MDV60411
Name:Deer Park Pale at Killerton


An earthwork ditch defining the western 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.


Grid Reference:SS 970 004
Map Sheet:SS90SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBroadclyst
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBROADCLYST

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS90SE/33/2
  • Old SAM Ref: 29691

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARK PALE (Early Medieval to XXI - 1066 AD to 2009 AD)

Full description


At above ngr to ss97110017. Section of 18c or earlier deer park pale. An estate map of 1756 shows that a deer park of 135 acres in extent, located to n of killerton house, had been constructed at some time in the 18c or before. Documentary sources show that the deer park pale comprised of a bank, wall, + ditch, with a wooden paling along the top of the bank. A 920m length of part of the w boundary of this pale has been identified to have survived, with its component features largely intact although nothing is visible of the wooden paling. It runs approx n-s from the s bank of the river culm to the bears hut near killerton house. A short section of about 30m in park wood is missing, having been replaced by a cottage garden wall in the later 19c. The deer park bank, which, over most of its length, is represented by a cut into the natural ground surface, stands 2.2m high and it is faced, on the inside by a drystone wall. Adjacent to the wall throughout its length is a ditch with a flat bottom and an angled slope which together account for an average width of about 8.5m before the natural ground surface once again resumes. Material from the ditch was been piled on the outer side of the pale to produce a low bank which varies in width between 3m and 5m; this produced a barrier with a max width of 13.5m. A single narrow gap opening into the wall into columbjohn wood is probably original but other occasional gaps in the bank are considered to be relatively modern. The original deer park was much reduced in size in 1810 when a new w boundary was constructed well within the grounds of the former enclosure (mpp).

Untitled Source (National Monuments Record Database). SDV133159.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV133160.

Des=acland papers mss/1148m/(1780).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV133161.

Des=killerton estate map/(1756).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV133162.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV133163.

Des=the national trust/killerton estate archaeological survey: part 1: the park & garden/(2000)55/1/copy in smr.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV133164.

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

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

In recent years the national trust has cleared the southern part of the bank + ditch and repaired the stone revetment (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 that defined the western edge of Park Wood and was clearly visible as an earthwork for 650 metres from a point at circa SS96880072 in the north to a quarry at circa SS97130015 in the south; however the lidar data was heavily processed to produce the DTM in this southern area, resulting in a distorted model that requires confirmation in the field. The Scheduled Monument doglegs slightly to the north-west for a further circa 300 metres from this point, but could not be identified as an earthwork ditch on the lidar data available to the survey.
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.

Wapshott, E., 2016, The Deer Park, Killerton, Broad Clyst, East Devon, Report 2: Monitoring and Recording (Report - Watching Brief). SDV361432.

This report presents the results of archaeological monitoring carried out by South West Archaeology Ltd. (SWARCH) at Killerton Park, Broadclyst, Devon, during repairs to the second (and earlier) of the two Scheduled deerpark pales on the estate. This work was undertaken in conjunction with a desk-based assessment, reported separately (SWARCH Report 160212) and archaeological monitoring works conducted during repairs to the eastern of the Scheduled deerpark pales (SWARCH report 160203).

This work forms part of a HLS agreement, with SMC for repairs to twelve areas of the western 18th century deerpark pale at Killerton. Collapsed sections of revetment wall were dismantled and rebuilt by hand by volunteers working under the professional guidance of an experienced stone mason. This work was monitored and exposed sections of walling and bank were recorded by SWARCH personnel.

This programme of monitoring determined that the western deerpark pale bank and the stone wall holding it back were built with considered care and professionalism. It represents a considerable investment of both time and resources. The pale is superior in both build and materials to the eastern pale, and judging by the cartographic record (SWARCH Report 160212) had been constructed by 1765.

The observations from this phase of monitoring suggest a consistent, cohesive and considered build and design for this part (southern half) of the western pale; which is in contrast to the multiple-phased and less considered evolution of the later park which is evidenced in the monitoring work of the eastern pale (SWARCH report 160203). In conjunction with the desk-based assessment, this would indicate that evolution of the deerparks at Killerton is more complex than hitherto appreciated.

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 Historic England listing description for full details.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV133159National Monuments Record Database:
SDV133160Migrated Record:
SDV133161Migrated Record:
SDV133162Migrated Record:
SDV133163Migrated Record:
SDV133164Migrated 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: #96601 ]
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.
SDV361432Report - Watching Brief: Wapshott, E.. 2016. The Deer Park, Killerton, Broad Clyst, East Devon, Report 2: Monitoring and Recording. South West Archaeology. 160621. Digital.
SDV52Migrated Record: National Trust.

Associated Monuments

MDV12344Related to: Killerton Deer Park, Broadclyst (Monument)
MDV64899Related to: Killerton Gardens, Broadclyst (Park/Garden)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6530 - The East and Mid-Devon Rivers Catchment NMP project (Ref: ACD613)
  • EDV8724 - Monitoring and Recording: The Deer Park, Killerton, Broad Clyst, East Devon (Ref: 160621)

Date Last Edited:Sep 28 2021 10:29AM