Type; Medieval Deer Park topographical survey
Location; Pleasley Vale, SK 520654
Project Leaders: R.D. Smith and Jim Priest
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.