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Mercian Archaeological Services CIC

Community Archaeology in the East Midlands,

 Community Archaeology Nottinghamshire, Excavation, Research, Volunteering, Community

    Archaeology Derbyshire, Training, Social, Learning, Community Archaeology Leicestershire,

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    Topographic Survey, Talks and Presentations, Outreach, Archaeology Projects , Open

    Days, Schools, Finds Processing, Day Schools, Field Schools, Young People, Archaeology

    and History of Sherwood Forest, Pottery Research, Medieval, Roman, Prehistoric, Community

    Interest Company, Community Archaeology Nottinghamshire.

Community Archaeology in Nottinghamshire

Community Archaeology in Derbyshire

Community Archaeology in Leicestershire

Community Archaeology East Midlands

Community Archaeology in Lincolnshire

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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

                                                                 The Future of Sherwood’s Past

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The Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project


Project page links:


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 Robin Hood Challenges






 Finds Processing


 Bus Tours - Outreach


National Nature Reserve Archaeology Survey


 King John’s Palace


 Robin Hood’s Village Dig




 The Battle of Hatfield


Edwinstowe Church


 St Edwin’s Chapel


 Clipstone Village Dig


 Medieval Sherwood Map


About Sherwood Forest


 Forest Law


 Why Sherwood Forest?


 Boundaries of Sherwood


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Award Winners 2016

for "Engaging people in the heritage, history & archaeology of Sherwood Forest".

Young Archaeology Club Sherwood Forest Trust Magna Carta Sherwood Forest

Some funders and partners:

World-wide Robin Hood Society

Robin Hood Society Feather in Your Cap Award 2016 Heritage Lottery Fund Archaeology Thynghowe Vikings Sherwood Forest Discover King John's Palace free excavation Robin Hood Town Tours

Sherwood Forest Historic Bus Tours: more details