The Deer Parks of Domesday Book

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This article challenges the assumption that deer parks were introduced into England at the time of the Norman Conquest. One of the earliest and most important sources for deer parks is Domesday Book. Domesday refers to deer enclosures either as 'parks' or 'hays', but there is little evidence to suggest that this reflected any variation in English and Norman approaches to deer management. Rather, the evidence suggests that the way in which the Domesday Inquest was conducted was largely responsible for differences in terminology. In a few cases, it can be shown that pre-Conquest deer enclosures survived as parks in the Anglo-Norman landscape and it is argued here that such continuity across 1066 may have been widespread. It is suggested that there may have been a much closer association between the Anglo-Saxon and Norman deer enclosures than has previously been supposed and that the origins of the English deer park should be sought before the Norman Conquest.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-23
Number of pages20
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2003

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