MSO9086 - Dunster Old Park (Monument)


A medieval deer park at Dunster Castle. It was documented in 1279 and disparked during the early 18th Century and became part of the landscape gardens. Part of the boundary wall survives behind houses in High Street.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

[SS 9945 4380] Old Park [NAT] [1] Described in 1279 as the "small park" and in 1330 as the "Hanger", a name which it bore until 1752 or later. Hanger Park, supporting about 50 deer was close to the gardens of the houses on the east side of the High Street and separated from them by a wooden pale afterwards replaced by a stone wall. One acre of it was occupied by a fishpond. It is not known when it was converted to pasture but by the first half of the 18th century it was known not to have contained deer. A new park (MSO9088) was created in 1755 which lay to the south of the medieval park and on higher ground. [2] The only part of the park wall that now survives is behind the houses in High Street (from SS 9920 4386 to SS 9921 4363). The rest of its boundary is now undefined and does not seem to be shown on any map. The fishpond cannot be traced. [3] Additional bibliography. [4,5] The Old Park, covers an area of 50 hectares, and comprises of The Lawns and Plantations, Registered Park and Garden grade I. [6] The southeastern area of the park is labelled The Lawns on the 25 inch 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map. [7] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [12]

Sources/Archives (12)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560.
  • <2> Monograph: Maxwell-Lyte, H.C.. 1909. A History of Dunster and of the Families of Mohun & Luttrell. 2. 160, 342-5.
  • <3> Unpublished document: PITCHER, GHP. 1960s. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 10 June 1965.
  • <4> Monograph: Evelyn Philip Shirley. 1867. Some account of English deer parks with notes on the management of deer . p 97.
  • <5> Article in serial: Dixon, J.. 1980. Somerset Parish Survey 3: Carhampton. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. p 7.
  • <6> Monograph: English Heritage. 1984-. Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England. English Heritage. Somerset Vol No. - Part 37.
  • <7> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1854-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <8> Report: Felus, K. + Phibbs, J.. 2004. Dunster Castle, Somerset: A Survey of the Historic Landscape. Volume I: Development and Analysis.
  • <9> Report: Felus, K. + Phibbs, J.. 2004. Dunster Castle, Somerset: A Survey of the Historic Landscape. Volume II: Historic Sources and Fieldwork and Other Background Material.
  • <10> Report: Colson Stone. 2011. Dunster Deer Park: Outline landscape and archaeological evaluation.
  • <11> Report: Gunter, J.. 2011. Dunster Castle Storm Water Drain Watching Brief. National Trust, The.
  • <12> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 36914, Extant 12 October 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 9958 4356 (1266m by 937m)
Map sheet SS94SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (4)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11231
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO9421
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SE23
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 36914
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33568

Record last edited

Jun 27 2022 1:56PM


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