Flitteris Park or Flitteriss Park is an ancient park estate in Rutland created in 1252 as a deer park. It is found to the north-west of Braunston-in-Rutland and a mile and a half west of the county town, Oakham. The park extends up to the county's border with Leicestershire, across which is Cold Overton Park.
The estate is now incorporated in Flitteris Park Farm, which takes its name from the ancient park and the land is turned from parkland to agriculture. The farm is best known today for hosting equestrian events in season.
In 1252 Henry III granted to Richard, Earl of Cornwall, the right to inclose with a ditch and hedge the wood called 'Flitteris' at Oakham, which was within the king's forest of Leighfield. The Earl also had the right of putting his beasts into the park at will. However, an inquest two years later found that "the wood is outside the said forest bordering the county of Leicester" The park remained with the Earl and formed part of his widow's dower, which she held until her death in 1312. Thereafter a succession of absent landlords made illegal hunting a rife practice in the park.
In 1372, William Flore was paid to provide a palisade for the park. (Flore's House still exists today in Oakham.) In 1373 the lodge in the park at Oakham is mentioned. In 1399 Edward, Duke of York, granted the keepership of the park of Flitteris to Roger Flore for life.
Deer in the park are mentioned in 1300 and in 1521 it was described as "within a mile of the town a little park called Flitteris park containing about a mile and a half and having in it 80 fallow deer."
The problem of absentee landlords was in part down to the fact that the park was stated to be held by the castle and manor of Oakham, but since the boundary territory was disputed, little care was taken with the parkland. By the end of the fourteenth century, the park was still maintained as a royal hunting park and the last record of such is in 1459 when Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham held it.
The hunting lodge remained intact for 550 years until it crumbled in 1920 and today only patchy ruins exist where it once stood. Original farm buildings still stand to the east of the existing farm. The stone used for construction was quarried on site. The remains of the house was used to build a house in the nearby village of Knossington.
Unusually, Cold Overton Park is contiguous with and partially surrounded by Flitteris Park. The two parks lie in adjacent parishes, Knossington and Oakham respectively, and in adjacent counties, the two parks divided by the line of the Leicestershire - Rutland boundary. Anthony Squires considered the possibility that the park pale on the county boundary followed an earlier earthwork defining the county bounds.
Today the Park is permanent pasture farmland and little wooded area remains between the ancient woodlands of Ladywood and Cold Overton Park.
The highest point in Rutland lies within Fliteriss Park, on Fliteriss Park Farm, where the land reaches 646 feet above sea level. The point is at 52°40’6"N, 0°46’42"W in Bealby's Field and is marked by an Ordnance Survey trig point.
- Squires, Anthony: Flitteris and Cold Overton: two medieval deer parks. Rutland Record, Issue 12 (1992)