Sherwood Forest is a landscape of myths and legends famous around the world.
But where was Sherwood Forest? What was a Forest? How was it administered? What was it for ? How did it function? and Who lived there?
Sherwood Forest was primarily set up us a hunting ground for the King and his royal followers to enjoy hunting beasts of the chase such as deer.
This required a landscape of woodland and open heath land to accommodate the hunting of deer on horseback with hounds through a technique known as Par force de cheins.
Along side this chase there were many other forms of hunting that required varying landscapes such as the hunting of Fallow and female deer in parks through a method known as Bow and Stable.
These landscapes were wild romantic places associated with the romance legends of the day, including the adventures of Gawain and the Green Knight and King Arthur. Heroes of the elite.
These landscape s also formed the hiding place of outlaws and rebels which in turn gave rise to the legends of Robin Hood. Hero of the common man.
As well as providing a landscape of hunting, romance, outlaws and legends, the Forest had a complex legal system and court structure administering it, complete with with, foresters, keepers, judges, verders and agisters (tax collectors)… and of course poachers…
At the centre of the Forest was a royal Palace at Clipstone where parliaments were held and all 8 king from Henry II to Richard II visited and stayed.
In the south was Nottingham with its castle known as the gateway to the north, and an number of highways took travellers through the heart of the forest as they journeyed through the middle of England.
The forest was also home to many hundreds of ordinary people who made their lives from the land and tilled the land and raised animals in the heaths and woods.
The Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project seeks to investigate the lives and relationships that existed across Sherwood Forest, from the kings to the common man, from the keepers to the poachers, from the ancient trees and heaths to the courts and villages that dotted the land, and formed the life of this landscape of legends…
Please click on the links to the left, to learn more about Sherwood Forest and The Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project.