Situated on the eastern edge of Derbyshire and adjacent to the Leicestershire parks of Ashby was the medieval park of Smisby. It has proved difficult to plot the bounds of this park exactly, as it appears to have been short-lived in the landscape and history of the village. However, it is considered that the park was carved out of Southwood, first documented in the 12th century and which originally covered a much larger area. Bryan's Coppice now remains as remnant woodland which would have been within the park. The line of the western boundary is probably marked by the route of a now vanished road, Woodcock Lane, shown on early maps (see SMR 25822). The section of bank visible along the edge of South Wood running south south-east from Wicket Nook and following the old county boundary could be the remnant pale bank. To complete the line of the pale a curving hedge-line runs along the present county boundary and back to Woodcock Lane. The park was probably created by the Shepey family, at least by the 13th century, as Sir John Shepey claimed in reply to the writ of Quo Warranto of 1330 that his ancestors had had a park there from time immemorial. (1)
The bank referred to by Authority 1 may relate, at least in part, to the route of a 19th century tramway rather than to the park pale. However, late 19th century maps show the parish boundary running along the eastern side of the tramway, so it may have made use of a pre-existing bank. (2)
Bibliographic reference: Wiltshire, M & Woore, S. 2009. Medieval Parks of Derbyshire. pp 160-161.
Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1896-1900. OS County Series, 2nd edition (1st revision), scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile).
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Centred SK 3590 1959 (922m by 1471m)
SMISBY, SOUTH DERBYSHIRE, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Jun 19 2018 9:34AM
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