|Clipstone Lordship based on historic mapping evidence |
by Andy Gaunt for University MA.
Sherwood Forest was not simply an area of woodland.
People lived in the forest, and it contained:
However, areas high in woodland and heath were favoured locations for royal forests...
...they are the most suitable habitat for Venison.
The picture above shows a re-construction of the medieval lordship of Clipstone (by the author).
As well as a royal enclosed deer park the landscape also contains the arable open fields of the village, areas of pasture land and open heathland for grazing crops, brecks, launds, rabbit warrens and all of the trappings of a normal rural medieval landscape.
People lived in Sherwood Forest- it was not just a big area of woodland!
Nottingham was within the bounds of Sherwood Forest but seems to have been exempt from the forest laws through the medieval period.
Sherwood Forest was a vast area which from the 13th century stretched from the River Trent in the south to the River Meden in the north and from the Doverbeck in the east to the River Leen in the west (see the boundaries page).
The Forest was a mixed landscape of villages and towns, as well as woodland and heathland.
It is noticeable that Sherwood forest was more wooded and had larger areas of heathland in the northern section. This area was known as the 'High Forest'. This area seems to have been more remote and would have been the ideal hideout for outlaws and villains!
The area to the south and east was more heavily inhabitted and had more villages and fields and domestic occupation. There were however extensive areas of woodland and heathland in the southern area including 'Bestwood Park'- a royal deer park, 'Basford Waste' and 'Arnold Common' and also the woodland occupying the high ground of Mapperley tops stretching continuosly from Nottingham to Calverton. This southern section of Sherwood Forest was known as 'Thorneywood Chase'.
A third area known as 'Rumwood' was included in the laws of the forest although it was north of the forest boundary. This is the area around Clumber park.