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2001-Pleasley Park

Medieval Deer Park

Topological Survey

Pleasley Vale

R D Smith and Jim Priest

1961 - Combs Farm

Type - Iron Age/Romano-British

Location - Farnsfield. SK631552

Project Leader - Brian Simmonds


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The Pleasley Vale regeneration scheme highlighted the need to assess the surface features within the woodland known as Pleasley Park.


The earliest record of these ‘earthworks’ was in a paper by Hayman Rooke 1790 which, under pressure from his mentor Sir George Younge, he ascribed to Roman military activity.

A local history group with the help of the Creswell Crags Centre identified some sections around the periphery as the remains of deer-leaps. The interior of the wood and in particular the southern quarter is crisscrossed by fissures and gullies which at first glance can appear to be man made.

Following the measurement of the most well defined of these features we were able to reject the accuracy of Rooke’s drawings and dismiss the theory of Roman activity.


Our conclusions were that the park had been intensively used

for limestone extraction and logging and all other features were the result of the weathering of the magnesium limestone and natural fissures.


This outcrop of the magnesium limestone with its block-like cracking structure has, in the past, led people to believe that the observable topography was somehow man-made. Similar features in the interior of the woodland, at first glance, are even more misleading.

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