Pre Bampfyldes

Poltimore Deer Park was licenced by the Bishop of Exeter predating the gift of the land to John Bamfylde in 1298

Deer would have been fallow deer, introduce to England by the Normans.

Deer parks were usually rounded in shape (to maximise area for minimum fencing) boundaries were usually  a ditch on the inside with excavated material thrown outwards topped by a paling fence on top.  Made of split timber the tops were kept irregular as deer are less likely to try to jump over it. Sometimes parts were kept flat to entice deer from neighbouring areas into the park, it still being difficult to jump back out due to the ditch.

Prior to the Tudors deer parks were predominately used for the production of venison, but this changed so that manor houses started to be built inside parks, which might also have been expanded at this time. This may explain Richard Bampfylde’s decision  to build his new house either in or adjacent to the deer park.

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