The earliest known reference to Champion Park is in an Inquisition Post Mortem of Edmund, the King's brother, in 1297. Included in his possessions in Duffield Frith is 'the park called le Campien'. There is an earlier reference to a William de Campania giving 2 silver marks to Robert le Foune for 100 acres of land in Duffield and again a Nicholas de Campania in 1275. A good run of references from the Kedleston Deeds start in 1308 when Henry, Earl of Lancaster, grants Henry Fouche and Cicely his wife 'une place de terre qest apele le Chaumpayne Park en nostre foreste de Duffeld' and 'a piece of land as it is enclosed by hedge and ditch', containing 6 acres yielding annually 63s, saving to Henry and his heirs 'les keynes cressauns [growing oaks] en le dist park et la veneson' in the park and the adjoining 6 acres. These Kedleston deed references run through to 1595 when John Curzon of Kedleston and Rowland Sale of Kedleston enfeoff a messuage or tenement in Champyns to George Curzon. Much of the southern and eastern sides of Champion Park follow the parish boundary, while a noticeable earthwork bank may indicate the original north-west park boundary. (1)
Champion Park, one of the parks of Duffield Frith, lies just to the west of Duffield, its name recalled today in Champion Farm and an area of wet woodland called Champion Carr. The park is referred to as 'le Campein' in 1297. Old turf with free-standing oaks and sweet chestnuts gives a park-like appearance, enhanced by the presence of a moated site [SMR 28001] and the ruins of the later Farnah Hall [SMR 28004]. In the absence of any documents to show boundaries or extent, landscape features and field names have determined the likely extent of the park. The parish boundary between Duffield and Windley, forming a distinct break between the ridge and furrow of Duffield and pasture-land within the park, follows a long hedge-line and is probably the line of the pale. Along the north-west side a distinctive earthwork bank crosses the field known as 'the moates' or 'park' to link up with a long curving hedge-line to form a semi-circular boundary enclosing the west of the park. Elsewhere ploughing has destroyed old hedgerows and any remnant banks. The Kedleston parish boundary demarks the southern boundary for a short way. It then joins the Duffield parish boundary that follows a ditch or hollow way beside Cumberhill Lane to complete the circuit. (2)
Unpublished document: Wiltshire, M. Letter, sketch map and transcribed deeds, sent to the SMR, Jan 23 2004.
Bibliographic reference: Wiltshire, M & Woore, S. 2009. Medieval Parks of Derbyshire. pp 50-51.
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Centred SK 32541 43003 (1073m by 1487m)
WINDLEY, AMBER VALLEY, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Oct 11 2012 3:33PM
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