Excavations at the ‘Royal Hunting Lodge’ at Church Place, Denny Wait – Abstract & Video

The following paper was presented at the New Forest Knowledge Conference 2017 entitled: New Forest Historical Research and Archaeology: who’s doing it? Below you will find the abstract of the paper and a video of the paper given if permission to film it was given by the speaker.


Dr Paul Everill, University of Winchester


A number of sites across the New Forest are considered to be the remains of medieval hunting lodges, constructed in the 14th or 15th centuries by order of the king. More than half a dozen are described as such by Historic England and are protected as Scheduled Ancient Monuments and, in some cases, it is possible to link the surviving earthworks with lodges named in various court rolls. While there are many similarities in the layout of the earthworks, there are also some important differences in both the apparent height of the banks and the presence, or absence, of building material that might indicate significant structures. Geophysical survey and excavation of the scheduled site at Church Place, Denny Wait, in 2016 and 2017 suggests that there is greater variety in the nature and function of these sites than has previously been thought. While the archaeological evidence supports the dating of the site, the absence of confirmed structural remains suggests a more ephemeral and perhaps temporary use of the site. This paper will outline the background to the excavations, and consider the results and possible interpretations arising from them.

The Talk

Date: 2017
  1. Dave Marshall

    Thanks for the excellent presentation.

    As I am sure you know, the lodge at Queens Bower appears very similar (to a layman) on the LIDAR and there are plenty of small pieces of slate to be found on the surface. I presume locals carried off the usable slate when the lodge went out of use.

    With regards to the paucity and quality of pottery, it is of course likely that it was short term use etc. However, I speculate that even as “Royal” hunting lodges, it may have been a case of the early medieval equivalent of boozy boys weekends slumming it and bonding together. Perhaps this went out of fashion by the time the impressive Elizabethan hunting lodges were built.

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