1) ‘Pale’ would have been used initially for the vertical pieces of wood in the fence of a medieval deer park, but it then came to mean the fence itself.

1505 beilded a palle betwixte the said Parke and woode, Healaugh

1524 all the wode within the new payle that is newlye theyr made, as it is set and founded, Moor Monkton. Interesting details are found in documents which related to a recently created park near Leeds: it was described in 1600 as all that parke or grounde inclosed with a Paille … commonly called Beeston parke. A lease of 1597 reserved to the landlord libertie to sett stayes or Proppes and to repayre the Pale … at all times: the land on the outside of the pale, which made such maintenance possible, was referred to in 1589 as le paile walke. The term pale-board seems likely to have developed as a result of the changed meaning of ‘pale’: 1489 shall not take payle boordes upon payne of 3s 4d

1528 Item to a slede man for carryng of payll bordes, ijd, York

1624 take no Pallbordes out of the Pall of Hunesworthe Parke. The transcription of a document in Latin is evidence that the practice has a much longer history: 1315 ‘Richard del Bothem, pale setter in Stanley wood, 12d for not making an adequate paling’.

spellings pale-board
dates 1315 1489 1505 1524 1528 1597 1624

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