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HER Number:MDV9052
Name:Deer Park at Berry Pomeroy Castle


Deer Park at Berry Pomeroy Castle, with a wall enclosing 340 acres still largely complete.


Grid Reference:SX 833 622
Map Sheet:SX86SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBerry Pomeroy
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishBERRY POMEROY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX86SW/10/1
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*)
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX86SW30
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • DEER PARK (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Full description

Lysons, D. + Lysons, S., 1822, Magna Britannica (Monograph). SDV323771.

Other details: Devon 2.

Shirley, E. P., 1867, Some Account of English Deerparks, 92 (Monograph). SDV314505.

Whitley, H. M., 1915, Berry Pomeroy Castle, 286 (Article in Serial). SDV170169.

There is extant a survey of the lands and tenements of Henry de Pomeroy dated 13 March 1292. At this date there was .. also a park worth yearly in pannage and herbage 1 mark and no more because it is overdone with wild beasts. The boundary of the park can still be traced, enclosing an area which measures on the Ordnance Map 340 acres.

Ordnance Survey, 1938, 121NE. Revision of 1933 with additions in 1938. Provisional Edition (Cartographic). SDV322860.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1952 - 1953, SX86SW30 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV341307.

1. There is a deer park at Berry Pomeroy.
2. The Pomeroys built this castle at the end of the 13th century and at that time enclosed 340 acres. The Park contained deer and was surrounded by a wall 7 feet high built of coursed rubble dry masonry. Three quarters of this wall still stands but where it ran through what is now woodland the roots of the trees have overthrown it.
3. The course of the old park wall is common knowledge in the locality and was pointed out by a retired gamekeeper.
A-B. the wall has amaximum height of 2.3 metres and a minimum height of 0.3 metres. The average height is 2 metres and average thickness 0.7 metres. It is built of dry walling of limestone and capped in part with flat limestone slabs. In fair condition.
B-C. There is no trace of a wall in character with the main portions.
C-D. Fragmentary traces of wall without capping on the inner side of an earth bank. Average height 1.7 metres.
D-E. A continuous wall in varying condition. Average height 1.5 metres , average width 1.1 metres. No capping.
E-F. The wall is in varying conditions but is traceable throughout. Average height 1 metre, width 0.7 metres. No capping.
F-G. Width up to 1.7 metres and an average height of 1.5 metres with fragmentary capping.
G-H. Wall in fair condition but low in parts. No capping.
H-J. Average height 1 metre. Out of character with the main portions of the wall.
J-A. Wall in good condition with an average height of 2 metres and average width of 0.8 metres. Partly capped.
No ditch appears on either side of the wall or in any section of it.
5. Photograph of the Park Wall from 'A' to the west - taken from the south east. Other details: Photograph, maps.

Department of Environment, 1985, Berry Pomeroy, 2 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV341264.

Field boundary walls, formerly deer park boundary walls. Pre 1292. Coursed limestone rubble dry masonry wall capped in part with limestone slabs. Surrounds an area of about 340 acres. About three quarters of its length still exists but where it passes through woodland it has been damaged by the roots. It rises to just over two metres in its more complete sections and up to about one metre thick.

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

Two parks 'Le Greate Park' and 'Le Lytill Park' mentioned in 1553. Survey of 1292 gives extent of park as 300 acres. Park shown encircling the castle on Speed's map of 1610.

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 165-9 (Monograph). SDV325629.

Gray, T., 1995, The Garden History of Devon: An Illustrated Guide to Sources, 41-2 (Monograph). SDV671.

Brown, S., 1998, Berry Pomeroy: Archaeological Survey for Presentation, 40 (Report - Survey). SDV341290.

Other details: Appendix 3: 103.

Clark, J. + Richardson, D., 1999, Berry Pomeroy Castle (Un-published). SDV357654.

Devon Gardens Trust, 1999, Devon Local Register, 9 (Un-published). SDV170167.

Simpson, J. K., 2002, Afton Farm, deer park wall, 34-7 (Ground Photograph). SDV10976.

Four photographs of the deer park wall adjoining Afton Farm at Berry Pomeroy showing small area of collapse.

Philip Hughes Associates, 2011, Berry Pomeroy, Deer Park Wall, Condition Report, 9, 10, 34, 38, (Report - Survey). SDV350257.

The deer park wall is one of the earliest and best preserved deer park walls in Devon. Its date has yet to be firmly established but probably lies in the medieval period, possibly as early as 1207 when the park was first enclosed. There are remains of an internal ditch and bank which are thought to be contemporary but which might possibly represent the first boundary or pale, which was later encircled by the wall. The park includes an area which appears to be a later medieval or early post-medieval extention. The park ceased to be maintained as a deer park circa 1700 and became used for farmland and forestry.

The wall shows considerabe variation in construction along it length. Some if this variation is undoubtedly owing to differences in the building stone, which was quarried from numerous small quarries opened at different points along the park boundary.

The deer park wall is a little over 5 kilometres in length, up to 2.3 metres high, and varies in width from 0.8 metres to 1.35 metres. In places, it survives virtually intact, complete with coping. Elsewhere, its survival varies from good to barely a stub rising above ground level, with partially collapsed sections in between. There are numerous repairs of post-medieval date which can be recognised by the charater of their more random and less skilled construction. The repairs seldom rise as high as the original wall and often incorporate stones pitched on their ends like those revetting nearby post-medieval hedgerows. There are some recent repairs made by tenant farmers.

English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011: South West, 103 (Report - non-specific). SDV355280.

Poor conditon. Mediaeval deer park wall, extended in the C16. Neglected, heavily overgrown with ivy and partially collapsed in places, particularly in the woods where it has no use as a boundary. English Heritage working with the Estate to prepare a condition survey in order to understand and monitor mechanisms of decay and to prioritise repairs. Priority C (slow decay; no solution agreed).

Clark, J. + Richardson, D., 2013, Berry Pomeroy Castle (Un-published). SDV356146.

A royal licence to enclose the deer park at Berry Pomeroy was granted in 1207; remains of substantial stone wall still seen around sections of park. The sylvan approach to the castle ruins is one of the most dramatic in Devon. The de Pomeroys were here from Norman conquest to 1547, their fortifications date only from later Middle Ages. In 1547 the castle was bought by Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and his family remained in occupation until 1688.

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

Sources / Further Reading

SDV10976Ground Photograph: Simpson, J. K.. 2002. Afton Farm, deer park wall. Photograph (Paper) + Digital. 34-7.
SDV170167Un-published: Devon Gardens Trust. 1999. Devon Local Register. Devon Local Register of Parks and Gardens of Local Historic Interest. A4 Stapled + Digital. 9.
SDV170169Article in Serial: Whitley, H. M.. 1915. Berry Pomeroy Castle. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 47. 286.
SDV314505Monograph: Shirley, E. P.. 1867. Some Account of English Deerparks. Some Account of English Deerparks. Unknown. 92.
SDV322860Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1938. 121NE. Revision of 1933 with additions in 1938. Provisional Edition. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map. Map (Paper).
SDV323771Monograph: Lysons, D. + Lysons, S.. 1822. Magna Britannica. Magna Britannica: A Concise Topographical Account of The Several Counties o. 6: Devonshire. Unknown.
SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 165-9.
SDV341264List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1985. Berry Pomeroy. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 2.
SDV341290Report - Survey: Brown, S.. 1998. Berry Pomeroy: Archaeological Survey for Presentation. Stewart Brown Associates Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 40.
SDV341307Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1952 - 1953. SX86SW30. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV350257Report - Survey: Philip Hughes Associates. 2011. Berry Pomeroy, Deer Park Wall, Condition Report. Philip Hughes Associates Report. A4 Stapled. 9, 10, 34, 38,.
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.
SDV355280Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2011. Heritage at Risk Register 2011: South West. english Heritage. Digital. 103.
SDV356146Un-published: Clark, J. + Richardson, D.. 2013. Berry Pomeroy Castle. Devon Local Register of Parks and Gardens of Local Historic Interest. Digital.
SDV357654Un-published: Clark, J. + Richardson, D.. 1999. Berry Pomeroy Castle. Devon Register Review. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV656Un-published: Gallant, L.. 1986. Deer Parks and Paddocks of England. Deer Parks and Paddocks of England. Manuscript.
SDV671Monograph: Gray, T.. 1995. The Garden History of Devon: An Illustrated Guide to Sources. The Garden History of Devon: An Illustrated Guide to Sources. Paperback Volume. 41-2.

Associated Monuments

MDV9051Related to: Berry Pomeroy Castle (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV3787 - Berry Pomeroy: Archaeological survey for Presentation

Date Last Edited:Sep 10 2021 2:37PM