This unique survival of a Grandstand and Deer Course on the Sherborne Park Estate in the Cotswolds is now in the care of the National Trust. It was created in 1634 by the gregarious owner of Sherborne House, John ‘Crump’ Dutton for the benefit of his guests. The guests would be greeted at this fascinating stately grandstand where, after they had feasted, they would adjourn to the balcony or indeed the rooftop viewing area to gamble on the spectacle before them.
Deer coursing was a fast and furious sport which was popular with Henry V111. The walled course at Lodge Park was one mile long and at the start a mongrel would ‘tease’ the fallow deer out onto the course to provoke a race. Two powerful hounds would then compete in the chase along the course which narrowed from 200 to 90 metres. A ditch marked the finishing line, followed by a second ditch too wide for the hounds to leap, allowing the quarry to survive. However, should one of the punters place a £20 bet, this would warrant a ‘fleshing course’ in other words a kill!
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Photo taken in Sherborne, UK
Misplaced? Suggest new location