A view along boundary ditch of the old deer park.
In medieval England a "deer park" was an enclosed area containing deer. It was bounded by a ditch and bank, with a wooden "park pale" on the top of the bank, or sometimes a stone or brick wall.
The park is to the left in the above photo, with left, the high bank on top of which the wooden pale or fence would have stood. The ditch is in the middle, and a lower earth bank is to the right. Some parks had deer "leaps," where there was an external ramp and the inner ditch was constructed on a grander scale. This allowed the deer to enter the park, but prevented them from leaving.
Bluebells now line the walk along the top of the inner bank.
It is possible to walk a good length of the higher bank, and at this time of year, the bluebells looked and smelled lovely in the warm, sunny weather.
Deer Parks varied in size from a circumference of many miles, to what was no more than a paddock. The landscape in the park was managed so as to provide a good habitat for the deer, and also to provide space for hunting. The landscape was intended to be visually attractive as well as functional.
The ditch to the right, is still full of water after the downpours of last winter.
The path was blocked in places by fallen trees, brought down in the high winds of winter. We had to leave the beaten track in several places to walk around the fallen tree trunks.
The greensand banks in Hartmore Lane on our way home after a walk of around 4 miles.