Keys to the Past


Hunting lodge

This term may be used for two similar types of buildings, indistinguishable in Medieval documents. The first types are the buildings erected by members of the nobility. These were grand buildings or ranges of buildings. If owned by the King or noble the hunting lodge would be administered by, and leased out (for most of the year) to, an official of the household. Nationally all English hunting lodges of this sort were under the command of the chief forester. An excavated example has revealed traces of gatehouses, halls, a chapel and courtyard surrounded by moats and fishponds, whilst being within a deerpark. Such buildings could also be used as travel stops by the nobility. King John is particularly noted for building hunting lodges.
The second form of hunting lodge would be the accommodation and base of the deerpark and warren officials. Both forms of hunting lodge would be within a deerpark and subjected to a higher authority - but the latter form would be more likely to be on the fringes of the park.

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