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The River Wye


Woods and trees

Medieval woods and forests

The term Forest in English law has no connection with woodland - hence terms such as Dartmoor Forest, an area of virtually no woodland, or the New Forest


Forest: Latin foresta

Latin Foris = outside. Where ‘forest laws’ apply.  Countryside of ancient rights and royal license.



Latin boscus, grava, nemorum, subboscus

At the time of Domesday less than 15% of England was wooded. Domesday references to woodland in Herefordshire are few and some of those indicate that the woodland had recently grown on land which presumably had previously been arable. At Lye and Harewood woodland seems to have grown on lands devasted during Gruffydd ap Llywelyn great raid into Herefordshire in 1052.

Woodland was a valuable resource with rights of grazing, pannage, wood for fuel and repair

Pasture and wood pasture were part of the ‘internal economy’ of the manor,

Domesday comments:

Bullingham      'the wood is in the King’s forest'

Kingstone        'wood called Treville, the villeins living there carried venison to Hereford'

Holme Lacy     'woodland ½ league long and as broad' (about 200 ha)

Burrington        'very little woodland'   (Mortimer Forest, now about 40% woodland!)

Pembridge        'There was woodland there for 160 pigs, if it had borne mast'

Lye        'On these waste lands have grown up woods in which Osbern hunts'

Harewood        'all of this land has reverted to woodland. It was waste and pays nothing'

Much Marcle   '58 acres of land assarted from the woodland'

In Woolhope    'woodland 3 furlongs long and 1 furlong broad' (about 10 hectares)

Haugh Wood

Part of the Inquisition Post Mortem on John de Grey, lord of Wilton, dated 1324


Item: they say that there are there 360 acres of arable land which are worth per year £4 10s which is 3d per acre, there are also 40 acres of meadow which are worth 60s per year which is 18d an acre, And there are there 18 acres of pasture which are worth 9s per year [6d/acre]

Item: there are there 4 acres of under-wood worth per year 3s 4d [10d/acre].




17th century charcoal burning



and early 19th century


A possible woodland boundary bank at Fownhope Park


Giant lime stool at Fownhope Park


Holme Lacy. Near Gannah Farm on the southern boundary with Bolstone.


Upper Bolstone Wood


200+ year old yew in Hentland churchyard.


For further information please contact Archenfield Archaeology on 01432 830 757 or email info@archenfield.com

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Wye Valley Event pages

maintained by Archenfield Archaeology Ltd


This project was part-financed by the European Union (EAGGF) and DEFRA through the Herefordshire Rivers LEADER+ Programme.