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Monument record MDR749 - Middleton Park (site of), Hungry Bentley

Type and Period (2)

  • ? (Medieval to Tudor - 1066 AD to 1485 AD)
  • (Medieval to Tudor - 1066 AD to 1485 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

Saxton marks a park called Myddleton, near Longford. (1) The distribution of 'park' field names suggests that the southern part of Middleton Park was bounded by the present parish boundary of Hungry Bentley (i.e. from c. SK 1755 3790 to SK 1905 3770). (2) There are no visible remains of a park pale but the farmer at High Grounds - SK 1815 3708 - states that the northern boundary of his farm, ie the parish boundary, has always been known as 'Buck Leap'. (3) No change to field report of 28/07/66. Tithe maps not available for consultation. (4) Barton Park [SMR 16806] and Middleton Park, Barton are roughly a mile apart; their history is interwoven and has proven difficult to unpick. After the Norman Conquest Ralph de Bagpuize had settled at Barton, giving it the suffix Barton Bagpuize, which remained until 1380. Robert de Bagpuize, possibly Ralph's son, founded a leper hospital, 'spittle', at Alkmonton around 1100, specifically for female lepers [SMR 16302]. After 1380 Sir Walter Blount purchased the extensive Bagpuize estates and the suffix changed to Barton Blount. In the vicinity of Barton Hall, both Bentley Hall [SMR 21405] and Alkmonton Hall [SMR 16306], about 1 mile to the north, also passed to the Blounts. Sir Walter Blount died in 1403 and his widow Sancha refounded the leper hospital in 1406 and her grandson Walter Blount, Lord Mountjoy, continued the family support. In his will of 1474 he instructed his executors to purchase land worth £10 a year to augment earlier endowments; seven poor men were to be paid 2s.4d. weekly and be allowed to have seven cows with grazing pasture in his park at Barton and have seven loads of wood yearly for fuel. A new chapel was to be built, dedicated to St Nicholas [SMR 16304], to serve the community of Alkmonton, in addition to the one at the hospital. To the west of the deserted medieval village of Alkmonton [SMR 16301] lies Middleton Park, marked today by the farm surrounded by pastureland and a parcel of mixed woodland called Bentley Carr. This park is sometimes referred to as 'Middleton alias Barton Old Park' and once possibly as 'Barton Bentlie'. The name does not seem to be connected to a family and perhaps refers to its location between the two Bagpuize/Blount houses of Barton Hall and Bentley Hall. It is suggested that this park may have been created or augmented by the purchase of extra land as per the will of Walter Blount, to support the poor men in the hospital nearby. The subsequent will of John Blount does suggest that part of Middleton Park had long been set aside for use by the hospital and that he wished this practice to continue alongside the right to take timber from Blount's Park, i.e. the park adjacent to Barton Blount. Whether both parks were established by the Bagpuize or Blount families is uncertain, as is their relative age. The fact that Middleton Park has the alias 'Barton Old Park' suggests that this was perhaps the earlier park, established by the Bagpuize family when the hospital was set up at Alkmonton. The first documented evidence for both parks comes in the 15th century wills of the Blount family and it is interesting to note that whereas agistment and timber appear to have been important, no mention of deer has been found. William Woolley commented that there was an old house at Bentley that was the seat of the Brown family with a good large park. From evidence on the Tithe map it is possible that this later park was to the north of the Roman road on the site of the deserted village of Hungry Bentley [SMR 21402]. (5)

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Shirley, E. 1867. English Deer and Deer Parks. p. 173.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: DJC (R1) 23-MAY-63.
  • <3> Personal Observation: F1 JB 28-JUL-66.
  • <4> Personal Observation: F2 FDC 20-AUG-76.
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: Wiltshire, M & Woore, S. 2009. Medieval Parks of Derbyshire. pp. 30-3.



Grid reference Centred SK 184 374 (1684m by 1454m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR1257
  • EDR1457

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Record last edited

Sep 19 2016 11:27AM

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