Centred SK 313 465. Postern Park was established by the reign of Edward I and remained so until the 17th century. The outline of the park can be fairly readily identified both on the map and "by the contour and fences of the country". (1)
In 1540 Postern Park was "3 miles about". (2)
In 1398 a new gate to Postern Park to be called Cowhouse gate [of. Cowerslane - SK 307470] was made. The road between the parks of Shottle and Postern was repaired in 1315 for the carriage of coal to the lord's forge which stood on the further side of the Ecclesburn, just beyond Cowhouse Lane. (3)
This road is shown as part of Hazelwood Township on the Shottle and Postern Tithe Map. (4)
The perimeter is marked by hedgerows and dry stone walls but no signs of an early pale were seen. (5)
Postern Park still has remarkably well preserved areas of park pale, which can be traced in the modern roads and field boundaries, although there is no public access to the interior. It is conspicuous that the hedgerows representing the park pale flourish, whilst those created post-enclosure appear less vigorous. A well preserved area of park pale was identified between SK 3258 4624 and SK 3258 4630 during survey in 2008. The bank and ditch is preserved to a depth of 2.5m on the outer bank with a berm of 3.5m to the inner bank of 1m. A less well preserved area of park pale was identified between SK 3193 4698 and SK 3214 4663 visible from the road as a ditch with a mixed thorn hedge running south-east to north-west along the outside boundary. Although the remains are not as well preserved, the outline is maintained in the line of the ditch and hedge, and the road. (6)
The civil parish of Shottle and Postern consists of two of the parks of Duffield Frith [see SMR 25507 for Shottle Park]. Straddling the River Ecclesbourne and bounded on three sides by parish boundaries, Postern Park is separated from Shottle Park by the ancient Ashbourne to Belper road [SMR 99047]. Alongside this road a strip of land, infilled on both sides with houses, fossilises the line of the park pale and freeboard. A 'kink' in the hedge-line has been identified opposite Frankerbrook Lodge, where Postern Road entered the park, as shown on the 1791 enclosure map. Further stretches of remnant freeboard are visible along the ridge road, Over Lane. To the west, another small stretch is present against Windley Lane, before the long hedge-lines form a broad curve crossing 'The Park' field. The boundary towards Hazelwood, where much crab apple and coppiced hazel are present in overgrown hedges, is a very good example of a bank and internal ditch preserved in scrubby woodland. Wellhole Wood and Hill Top Farm keep their woodland names from the 16th century. Round Wood has remnants of a wood-bank and is perhaps the location of the 'Ring' mentioned in a document of 1560. Postern Lodge and Cowers Lane retain the names of places where Woodmote Courts were held during the 14th and 15th centuries.
Postern Park was created sometime before the end of the 13th century. It is an excellent example of dual purpose land use, with deer being managed and hunted, alongside intensive agricultural activity. The fertile meadows led to the early establishment of a royal vaccary or cowhouse near to the present Cowers Lane (a corruption of Cowhouse Lane), and there was intensive use of the land for cattle rearing, haymaking and arable crops, initially precluding any income from agistment. A separately paled area, later known as Cowhouse Park, was most probably on the richer, well-watered land in the west of the park. This protected the assets of the royal farm whilst deer were probably kept on the less favourable hilly land bordering Hazelwood. (7)