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The Toot

This small pasture area at Shenley Church End is a scheduled ancient monument because in 1239 AD it was a moated motte and bailey castle, home to the family of Hugh, Earl of Chester. The motte and bailey castle consisted of an earth-built mound (the motte) normally topped with a timber tower, standing in a flat fortified enclosure (the bailey).

During the medieval period, the parish of Shenley was unusual in that it had four main areas of settlement; Shenley Church End, Shenley Brook End, Westbury and East Green. Church End is and probably always was the main settlement in the parish with its church and toot (look-out hill) dominating the landscape.

The medieval earthworks at this site have been disturbed many times over the centuries by building works and landscaping. The earthworks that can be seen today are probably the remains of an 18th century manor's gardens which were also built on the site. There is also an old water tank which was added to the site in the early to mid-20th Century. Bats have been known to roost here.

What to see and What to do


Don’t miss

Be sure to follow the avenue of lime trees that circle right the way round the outside of the Toot.

Look out for wildflowers on the Toot in springtime – you should see bluebells, laburnum and wood anemones among others.

Depending on when you visit, you may see our sheep and cattle grazing the area – if you are walking your dog please be extra careful around grazing animals and keep them on the lead.

Across the V3 Fulmer Street is Shenley Wood, an excellent spot for picnics and well-provided with a range of seats, tables and benches. Walk across from The Toot via the footbridge into the SuDS (Sustainable Drainage System) area – this is seeded with wildflowers so makes a beautiful spot to relax in summer months.

Need to Know


Getting there

The Toot is located off V3 Fulmer Street, right at the bottom edge of the square created by H6 Childs Way, V4 Watling Street, H5 Portway and V3 Fulmer Street. Nearest post code: MK5 6AE

Opening times

The park is open at all times.

Car parking

Car parking can be found down Aldwycks Lane, off Vache Lane and V3 Fulmer Street. A footpath from here can be followed into the Toot.

Toilets

There are no public toilets in the park.

Refreshments

There are no facilities on site but there are a range of pubs and shops in Shenley Church End about 10 minutes’ walk away to the east.

Disabled access

The Toot has good disabled access – there are dropped kerbs to enter the site and a surfaced path around the park, albeit with some gradients.

Photos at The Toot