Church Place Ashurst

Has been described as a Possible Palace (Royal)

There are earthwork remains

NameChurch Place Ashurst
Alternative NamesHoundesdoun; Hounsdoun
Historic CountryHampshire and the Isle of Wight
Modern AuthorityHampshire
1974 AuthorityHampshire
Civil ParishDenny Lodge

The monument includes the remains of a medieval hunting lodge situated on the western slopes of a sandy ridge within Churchplace Inclosure in the New Forest. The location of the lodge is indicated by earthwork banks and an external ditch which enclose a sub-rectangular raised platform measuring approximately 36m square. The banks are up to 6m in width and approximately 0.7m in height. An external ditch measuring a maximum of 4m in width and up to 0.3m in depth is visible on the eastern, western and southern sides. A break in the eastern bank and ditch up to 7.5m in width probably indicates the site of the original entrance. Documents record that Edward III spent time in the New Forest during the summer of 1366, for which reason repairs were made to several lodges, one of which was referred to as Houndesdoun. The occurrence of a similar name approximately 2km north east of Churchplace and the similarity of the earthworks to other known lodge sites suggest that Houndesdoun and Churchplace refer to the same location. The presence of structures within the enclosure have been confirmed by finds of slate, which further corroborates the site as being that of a lodge, several New Forest examples of which are known to have had slate roofs. (Scheduling Report)

Church Place, Ashurst, is on a sandy knoll, and owing to the sand the works are more spread and wasted. In size it is similar to Church Place, Denny Wait, and Studley Castle, but the entrance is near the SE corner instead of in the middle of the side (Heywood-Sumner).

This square earthwork, surveyed at SU 34200966, is formed by a broad bank which averages 0.7m high on the outer side and 0.3m high on the inner side, with an outer ditch 0.2m deep. There are several mutilations of both bank and ditch, but only at the probable entrance near the SE corner is there a causewayed ditch and a corresponding break on the inner side of the bank

Probably a medieval stock enclosure (F1 NVQ 01-NOV-61).

This earthwork almost certainly marks the site of the royal hunting lodge at 'Houndesdoun' noted in public records (HKW) as repaired in 1366. That it was a royal hunting lodge is evident from its close resemblance in form to the proved lodge at Studley 'Castle' and from the finding of Cornish slate on both sites (Pasmore) (this is recorded as having been used for the roofs at Studley). That it was the specific lodge at 'Houndesdoun' is more than probable from its proximity to the modern 'Hounsdoun' (SU 3511) and the absence of any other candidate (F2 FGA 24-JUL-69). (PastScape)

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 ReferenceSU342096
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Anderson, C.D.J., 2004, The Deer Parks of Hampshire: an Archaeological Survey (University of Southampton) p. 23
  • 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. 983-6
  • Sumner, Heywood, 1917, Ancient Earthworks of the New Forest (London: Chiswick Press) p. 61-


  • Smith, N., 1999, 'The Earthwork Remains of Enclosure in the New Forest' Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society Vol. 54 p. 25-7
  • Pasmore, A., 1970, Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society Newsletter p. 150-3
  • Pasmore, A., 1969, Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society, New Forest Section Report Vol. 8 p. 6, 8


  • 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
  • Stamper, P.A., 1983, Medieval Hampshire - studies in landscape history (University of Southampton: PhD Thesis)