The Mediaeval Deer Park

What is now Barrow Hill was once a large part of Staveley Park, a medieval Deer Park belonging to the Lords of the Manor of Staveley.

Map 1610

Darbieshire Described, 1610 (John Speed, The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine)

Map 1673

A Map of the County of Darbye, 1673 (Richard Blome, Britannia)

The Park was created at some time between the 11th and 14th Centuries and was designed to keep the deer in, and poachers and wild animals out. The Park was divided into areas which were then used for a variety of farming activities. Some areas were for growing and coppicing trees to provide timber for fuel and building, others were planted with holly to provide winter feed for the deer whilst others were large grassy areas where the deer could roam freely. Rabbits were reared in specially made warrens. According to the Rev William Laxton Coleman the area was “stocked with an abundance of furred and feathered life.”

Gates and entrances were built for access and lodges were built near the boundaries for the “Parkers,” the men who looked after the fencing, fed the deer in wintertime and protected them from poachers.

Map Parish place names

The Parish Boundary followed part of the original Deer Park boundary

Place and field names, which are still in use today, help to define the boundaries of the Park. Most of the existing farm buildings were built by the Chatsworth Estate in the 1800s but are believed to have replaced earlier dwellings on the same sites. Both Red Lodge and White Lodge are thought to have once been the site of the home of Parkers.

Deer Park White Lodge

White Lodge

Deer Park Red Lodge

Red Lodge

Deer Park Parkhouse

Parkhouse Farm

Deer Park Parkgate


The Hagge (or Hagg) is a Grade 2 listed building on Staveley Lane. It is said to have been built around 1630 by Sir Peter Frecheville and may well have been a hunting lodge. It is described in the listing as

A lofty stone country mansion with gables. Coursed stone rubble; 3 storeys plus attic; range of approximately 6 original stone mullioned windows to each storey; 3 coped gables; plinth. The original front elevation to south is somewhat similar but has a 3 storey projecting porch in centre with steps up; diagonal shafted stack; slates. Interior: Contemporary oak panelling in ground and 1st storey rooms of east wing, and plain oak newel staircase.

Deer Park Hagge

The Hagge

The word “Hagg” is from the Anglo Saxon meaning an enclosure surrounded by a hedge.

Some other local place names:*

Handley Wood: In 1487, “Richard Ince of Spynkhill, granted to John Frecheville a place in Staveley called Handley Wood,” It is from this gentleman that we get the names of Ince Farm and Ince Barn which were once part of the Hagge. It is mentioned in the tithe agreements of the Rev James Gisborne (1716-1759) as being in the occupation of Mrs Froggatt of the Hagge, and of which Ince Barn and Ince meadow were part. Ince Barn is not far from what is now Handley Wood and in those days the name embraced a larger area than at present.

Foxlowe: The Foxlowe plantation is named after the Rev Francis Foxlowe who was a curate of Staveley at the beginning of the 1800s.

Hollingwood Common:  was enclosed by Act of Parliament in 1780. The name comes from the Anglo Saxon word “holeyn” meaning the Holly Tree  (The wood where the holly tree grows).

Merrians: From the Anglo Saxon, word for a boundary, we get the name of Merrians, a boundary farm which still marks the parish boundary.

Foxstone Wood: Another boundary between our parish and Eckington is Foxstone Wood, commonly spelled and pronounced Foxon by local people. The word indicates a boundary stone in an area that was once a favourite haunt of foxes

The Breck is from brekka, meaning a slope or brink

Deer Park Breck

Breck Farm

*Derived from: Coleman (William L.) Some place and Field Names of the Parish of Staveley. J Derbys Archaeol. Soc. 16 pp 190- 97. 1894

This article has been adapted from the research, and with the kind permission of, Joan Butt, Staveley History Society

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