The medieval park was surrounded by a 3 metre high fence or 'park pale' to prevent the deer within it from escaping.
Fish for the castle were provided from the fish ponds in the park. The water from the pond probably came from the River Leen.
|Picture: A Pillow Mound Rabbit Warren from the Luttrell Psalter.|
Deer and hunting was of course the main raison d'etre for the park. The presence of a large deer herd attached to the castle allowed the king to provide gifts and payments to loyal subjects. Many deer were sent to important dignitaries throughout the medieval period (more on gift of venison from the park soon, see Hunting v Finance entry for more on the use of gifts for payment of service).
It was previously thought the front gate of the castle was used on the eastern side with hunting parties having to ride around the castle walls and negotiate the ponds, leats and five water mills located along the southern side of the castle if they tried to approach that way (not very satisfactory).