Dunster Deer Park, Somerset

Historical, Archaeological & Landscape Assessment of large Deer Park within the Exmoor National Park

Dunster Deer Park forms a part of the Grade II* registered landscape setting to Dunster Castle in Somerset. It was created in 1755 by John and Margaret Fownes Luttrell and retained a managed herd of deer until the middle of the 20th century. Following transfer to Crown Estate in 1954, the deer were removed and large areas of the park were planted with forestry.

We were commissioned by the new tenants of the land to consider the feasibility of restoring the deer park. We carried out a detailed Historical, Archaeological & Landscape Assessment of the site. Working with the Crown Estate and Exmoor National Park Authority, our particular focus was to assess the potential impact of installing new deer fencing on the archaeological remains of original park pale and the landscape and forestry implications of re-establishing a deer herd within the park.