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Boundaries of Medieval Sherwood Forest

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In the reign of Henry II (1154-1189), Richard I (1189-1199) and John (1199-1216), all of Nottinghamshire north and west of the Trent was subject to forest law.


In fact this area extended into Derbyshire as far as the River Derwent.


All of that combined area of forest was at that time under the control of Maud De Caux as hereditary keeper of the forests of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.


This is the period that nowadays we most readily associate with Robin Hood.


This large expansion of forest law under the Angevin kings proved very unpopular.


In 1215  King John was forced to sign the Magna Carta- the Great Charter


Pressure to reduce the extent of the forest led to the inclusion of Forest Clauses in the great charter.


King John was not happy however and he quickly dismissed Magna Carta and went on the attack.


In 1216 King John died at Newark Castle (Nottinghamshire) having lost the crown jewels in the Wash.


Many barons had backed Louis heir to the throne of France- he was crowned King Louis in Westminster.


However the great warrior of the age William Marshal forced the barons to fall in behind Johns 9 year old son, who was crowned Henry III in 1216.


Louis returned to France no longer king of England.


In 1217 a separate Charter of the Forest was created- underlining the importance of the Forest law in the Kingdom of England(.


The Forest Charter of 1217 aimed at the reduction of the area of land subject to Forest Law.


Between 1218 and 1227 a number of perambulations of the forest boundary took place.


Eventually the boundary of Sherwood Forest was set for the remainder of the medieval period.


The boundary from the 13th century onwards was from the River Trent in the south to the River Meden in the north, and from the Doverbeck and the King's highway (now the A614 roughly see the Road to York entry) in the east to River Leen in the West



Sherwood Forest medieval boundary
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 Project page links:

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 King John’s Palace

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 St Edwin’s Chapel

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 Clipstone Village Dig

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 Medieval Sherwood Map

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 About Sherwood Forest

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 Forest Law

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 Why Sherwood Forest?

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 Boundaries of Sherwood

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 Outlaws & Villains

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 Stories from the Forest

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 Bibliography

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