Medieval Parks of Derbyshire
52. Mapperley SK 4243
In an area much disturbed by coal mining finding evidence of a medieval park is remarkable. William Peverel had the custody of the manor here for the King at the time of the Domesday Survey. By the end of the 13th century Thomas de Luda [Louth], a nobleman with no other interests in Derbyshire, claimed a right of free warren but his warrant was not verified. Robert de Willoughby had a grant of free warren for all lands in Derbyshire prior to this having acquired the manor by marriage, and it was the Willoughbys who held part of the estate from the 14th to the 16th centuries. The Strelleys also held a manor here, or part of it, as the Bishop of Lichfield gave them the right to set up a chapel in their house for personal use. By 1596 their estate was called Park Hall and described as lying in West Hallam, Mapperley was indeed in West Hallam parish until 1870. From the early 18th century one of the Lowe family either inherited or purchased this estate and it thus became part of the Drury-Lowe holding.
A fine moated site, albeit cut into by a railway line, is very obvious on the ground and may have been the site of the Strelley manor house and associated chapel, with a park stretching westwards towards what is now called Park Hall Farm. The fields close to the moated site are named Park Close, Nether Park and Over Park on an estate surveyed for Richard Lowe in 1778. Park Hall is clearly marked on Burdett’s Map of Derbyshire in 1791 and Sanderson’s map of 1835 and was north of the farm at the bend in the road close to the now closed Royal Oak pub.