Studley Castle

Has been described as a Possible Palace (Royal)

There are no visible remains

NameStudley Castle
Alternative Names
Historic CountryHampshire and the Isle of Wight
Modern AuthorityHampshire
1974 AuthorityHampshire
Civil ParishBramshaw

The royal hunting lodge at Studley, in the New Forest, survives reasonably well despite some later disturbance by subsequent tree planting and removal, and can be expected to retain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.

The monument includes a royal hunting lodge dating to the medieval period, situated in the New Forest on a south-facing spur at the north east end of Islands Thorns Enclosure. The moat surrounding the lodge survives as a shallow ditch and a low inner bank enclosing a square area, 35m across. Both the ditch and bank are 4m-5m wide and the bank stands on average 0.4m above the interior but rises slightly higher at the sharp corners. There is a possible original entrance on the east side formed by a simple causewayed gap through the ditch and bank, but this has been partly disturbed by the modern use of heavy machinery for tree removal. The moat has been breached in three further places by tree removal and a modern path. The interior is divided roughly in half by a slight ditch running in a north-south direction across it, and there is a faint indication of a low central platform situated immediately west of this ditch, approximately 12m in diameter, which may have formed a foundation for the lodge. No visible traces survive of the lodge itself, although pieces of slate and medieval tile have been observed on the site and further buried remains can be expected to survive. Historical records indicate that the original structure was built between 1358 and 1361, that it included a kitchen, and was of timber frame and plaster construction, with a roof of Purbeck and Cornish slates. It formed part of a set of four lodges constructed at the same time in the New Forest for Edward III, the principal one of which, Hatheburg, was situated near Lyndhurst and was constructed on a grander scale including a King's chamber, chapel, hall and outbuildings

At least three other royal hunting lodges are known to have been constructed in the New Forest during the 13th and 14th centuries. (Scheduling Report)

A park was attached to the manor of Lyndhurst from a very early date. In 1299 it covered an area of 500 acres, the profits from the honey gathered there amounting to 2s. per annum. In 1313 mention is made of 'the close of Queen Margaret at Lyndhurst.' Later in the century the Sheriff of Southampton was ordered to provide the necessary transport for the work of inclosing the king's park at Lyndhurst. In 1358 John de Beauchamp was charged to sell sufficient timber from the park of Lyndhurst to defray the expense of making four lodges and ridings in the forest. In 1387 and again in 1428 payments were made for the fencing and repairing of the palings of the king's park at Lyndhurst. (VCH)

Gatehouse Comments

As with the other smaller lodges of the New Forest this may represent the residence and offices of a royal official (forester) rather than a royal residence, although it could have also provided supplementary accommodation when the large royal court was at Hatheburg. It is likely to have been built in a style which reflected the royal and legal status of the forester. Not marked as an anything recognisably manmade on Drivers map.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSU222160
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Colvin, H.M., Brown, R.Allen and Taylor, A.J., 1963, The history of the King's Works Vol. 2: the Middle Ages (London: HMSO) p. 984-6
  • Sumner, Heywood, 1917, Ancient Earthworks of the New Forest (London: Chiswick Press) p. 64
  • Williams-Freeman, J.P., 1915, An Introduction to Field Archaeology as Illustrated by Hampshire p. 367
  • Page, Wm (ed), 1911, VCH Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Vol. 4 p. 630-634 online transcription


  • Smith, N., 1999, 'The Earthwork Remains of Enclosure in the New Forest' Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society Vol. 54 p. 25-26
  • Pasmore, A.H., 1970, Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society Newsletter p. 150-3
  • Pasmore, A.H., 1969, Hampshire Field Club New Forest Section reports Vol. 8 p. 6
  • Piggott, S., 1931, Antiquity Vol. 5 p. 482

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1908, Calendar of Close Rolls Edward III (1354-60) Vol. 10 p. 476 view online copy (requires subscription but searchable) [alternative online copy (long download time) >]


  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 South East (London: English Heritage) p. 36 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 South East (London: English Heritage) p. 33 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 South East (London: English Heritage) p. 38 online copy
  • Stamper, P.A., 1983, Medieval Hampshire - studies in landscape history (University of Southampton: PhD Thesis) p. 113
  • A Plan of His Majesty's Forest, called the New Forest, in the County of Southampton. Laid down from surveys undertaken by Thos. Richardson, Wm. King and ABm. and Wm. Driver. By order of the Commissioners of the Land Revenue, appointed by Act of Parliament passed in the 26th year of King George IIId. Engraved and published by order of the said Commissioners, by William Faden, Geographer to the King, MDCCLXXXIX online copy