IMC 2008: Sessions

Session 1112: Forests in England and Wales, I: What and Where Were the Forests and What Were They for?

Wednesday 9 July 2008, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:St John's College, University of Oxford
Organiser:John Langton, St John's College, University of Oxford
Moderator/Chair:Robin Alan Butlin, School of Geography, University of Leeds
Paper 1112-a'Medieval English Royal Forests': What Were They?
(Language: English)
John Langton, St John's College, University of Oxford
Index terms: Economics - Rural, Law
Paper 1112-bMapping the Forests: Problems and Possibilities
(Language: English)
Graham R. Jones, St John's College, University of Oxford
Index terms: Geography and Settlement Studies, Onomastics
Paper 1112-cForests as Hunting Grounds
(Language: English)
Richard Lewis Almond, Independent Scholar, Richmond
Index terms: Anthropology, Art History - General

Preoccupation with colonisation for arable, as well as the ‘Norman yoke’ and ‘Robin Hood’ versions of medieval forest history, have rendered this half of pre-industrial rural history under-studied and misunderstood. Even the published numbers of forests and chases in England and Wales vary widely and are all seriously short of the mark. This session attempts to redefine the forest, explain its utility to kings, but also to other classes, demonstrate the extent and complexity of forests as geographic entities, and broaden our view of where hunting stood in, and how it was understood by, medieval society.