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Monument record MDR4687 - Morley Deer Park and possible coal mines, Ripley

Type and Period (2)

  • (Medieval to Elizabethan - 1300 AD to 1600 AD)
  • (Medieval to Elizabethan - 1363 AD to 1599 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

[Name centred: SK 3790 4895] Morley Park [T.I.] (1) Morley Park was one of seven parks in the forest of Duffield, claimed by Henry, Earl of Lancaster, in answer to a quo warranto, in 1330. It has long been disparked. (2) "Morley Park, in this chapelry, [Heage] which in 1677 was found to contain about 560 acres, was granted by Queen Elizabeth, in or about the year 1573, to John Stanhope, Esq. ……" (3) Field and parish boundaries and the names Parkside (SK 372494) and Parkside Farm (SK 374494) indicate the probable western boundary. The area of the original park suggests that the southern boundary followed the parish boundary between Heage and Denby, and that the eastern side was bounded by Ryknild Street and a stretch of parish boundary. The northern boundary is less obvious but possibly followed either a small stream or Ripley Road, Heage. (4) The probable boundary is marked by fences and hedges, and on the east by Ryknild Street. No remains of an early pale were identified. (5) Morley Park appears to have been created from the waste of Heage and Belper manors, probably in the early 14th century. The first reference to Morley Park comes in accounts dated to 1313-14, when over 450 perches of paling were repaired, renewed or re-erected. Agistment (letting the land out for grazing in return for money) was important in the park throughout the medieval period. The sale of timber was also important, as was the industrial use of the land for open cast coal and ironstone workings. At the same time, the hunting of deer continued to be important at least until the end of the 16th century. Recent fieldwork to determine the extent of the park, three miles in circuit, was hampered by the creation of the A38 trunk road which effectively bisected the area. Although there are no remains of the park pale whatsoever, long hedge boundaries can be traced in some places, while the names of fields, farms and roads provide clues as to the park's former extent. (6) The park appears for the first time in the written record in the 1313-1314 Lancastrian accounts and was claimed by Thomas of Lancaster slightly later. Very little records of deer existing on site. (7) Coal mining activities have also been noted within the boundaries, though no exact locations of sites have been found, very little visible evidence remains. The first mention of coal mining in the area is 1363 when no coal is noted to have been received from Morley Park by the Duchy from the farm of 'Two Picks (mines)'. Activity may have dwindled from the 1500s onwards after the opening of the ironworks (later to grow into the Morley Park Ironworks). (8)

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1913-38. 6".
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Shirley, E. 1867. English Deer and Deer Parks. p169-70.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Lysons, D & Lysons, S. 1817. Magna Britannia, Volume 5: Derbyshire. p 141.
  • <4> Personal Observation: F1 DJC 05-NOV-63.
  • <5> Personal Observation: F2 BHS 22-SEP-66.
  • <6> Bibliographic reference: Wiltshire, M, Woore, S, Crisp, B & Rich, B. 2005. Duffield Frith. History & Evolution of the Landscape of a Medieval Derbyshire Forest.. pp 89-92.
  • <7> Bibliographic reference: Wiltshire, M & Woore, S. 2009. Medieval Parks of Derbyshire. pp. 122-123.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Judge, T (Ripley Historical Group). Some early coal mines at Morley Park, Heage.



Grid reference Centred SK 3776 4920 (1380m by 2612m) Centre

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR824
  • EDR1319

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External Links (0)

Record last edited

Apr 20 2023 10:20AM

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