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Monument record MDR11626 - Meynell Langley Deer Park, Meynell Langley, Kirk Langley

Type and Period (1)

  • (Medieval to Tudor - 1300 AD to 1550 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

The deer park at Langley, now disparked, is shown on Saxton's Survey as larger and more important at that time than the nearby park at Kedleston. It suffered terribly in 1545, during a great tempest in the month of June of that year, which according to the ideas of the time was ascribed to the devil. A letter giving an account of the devastation states 'Syr Wyllam Bassett's place rente and pully'd downe, and the wood that growethe aboute his place, and in his parke he (the devil as we do suppose) pulled down his pale, and dryve out his deere, &c.'. (1) The ancient deer park of Meynell Langley was enclosed by Hugh de Meynell during the 14th century. It would appear from an ancient plan of the park in the possession of the Duke of Portland, that it consisted of about 537 acres of land. An old tradition asserts that, in Charles I's reign, all the deer in Langley Park died of a murrain. In confirmation of this, when the present lake at Meynell Langley was being made, a quantity of their bones was dug up. During the Civil War Meynell Langley was in the possession of the Duke of Newcastle who, being a Royalist, had his property confiscated. The old park palings were torn up and practically all the timber was cut down and made into charcoal. The sites of two of these charcoal pits can still be seen in the fields known as Thompsons Prestwood and the Dakin meadow. One of the few trees that escaped was the ancient oak, now to be seen in front of the house. There was at that time no direct communication between the house and the Ashbourne Road. The only cart-track ran down from the house through a dumble, now the site of the big pond, over the brook by a brick culvert about 300 yards east of the present bridge, and thence to the road opposite Sandy Lane Farm. (2) Aerial photographs taken in 1971 and 1973 show earthwork ridge and furrow in some parts of the former deerpark, indicating that prior to imparkment at least some of the land had formed part of an open arable field system. (3, 4) It is possible than an earlier park existed closer to the capital messuage at Kirk Langley- six 'lawn fields' are marked as being plotted to the south of the hall according to a schedule book made for the Chandos Poles circa 19th century. This is speculative as no references have been found. (5) Ralph fitz Nicholas was given free warren in the area of what may be the park in 1230. The Meynells had Langley until 1389 and then it was repurchased by them in 1670. Presumably the Bassetts of Blore had it in the intervening period. A text from 1927 (see source 2) stated that the 'ancient deer park of Meynell Langley was enclosed by Hugh de Meynell during the 14th century'. (6)

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Shirley, E. 1867. English Deer and Deer Parks. p 173.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Meynell, G. 1927. Historical Notes on the Church and Manors of Kirk Langley and Meynell Langley. pp 12-13.
  • <3> Aerial Photograph: 1971. Fairey Surveys 1:12000. AP_12_164.
  • <4> Aerial Photograph: 1966-1975. Derbyshire aerial photographs (incomplete series), scale 1:2500, acquired from RCHME. AP 73 478/033.
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: Wiltshire, M & Woore, S. 2009. Medieval Parks of Derbyshire. pp. 104-105.
  • <6> Correspondence: Joyce, B. 2004. Email regarding a possible medieval park at Meynell Langley, 9th November, 2004. Email.



Grid reference Centred SK 29382 39865 (1728m by 1835m)

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Record last edited

Jul 11 2017 4:09PM

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