Guide lines - What is the Forest? 2013 update (Announce)

by slowhands @, proud of his ancient Dean Forest roots, Sunday, March 03, 2013, 23:42 (4093 days ago) @ slowhands

Attempting trace a notion of Forest bounday. Pre-Saxon times a boundary is hard to define that relates to the modern area.


Today's Forest of Dean District Council is responsible for an area heading up towards Ledbury.

You need to consider the sort of record you are looking !
Whilst village / place names have stayed roughly the same, you may be surprised at how administration boundaries have moved over the years.

Census / Enumeration - dont be surprised if parts of the Forest / Gloucestershire appear under Monmouthshire / Wales - this is not saying that the County boundary has shifted just the way districts were handledby the Census team

BMD - again you may find Ruardean records under Ross, Herefordshire, west Dean records under Monmouth and Lydney area under Chepstow. Again this is just how the BMD admin was handled, Lydney never became part of Wales !


Jefff offered a "Norman" definition in

"Between 1086 and 1228 the bounds of the juridical Forest were enlarged to include all the Gloucestershire and Herefordshire manors and villages in an area bounded on the south-east by the Severn from Over bridge, adjoining Gloucester, to the mouth of the Wye, on the west by the Wye from its mouth up to a ford between Goodrich castle and Walford (Herefs.), on the north-west by bounds, mainly trackways, running from the ford by way of Weston under Penyard (Herefs.) and Gorsley to Oxenhall bridge on Ell brook near Newent, and on the north-east by the main road from Newent to Gloucester."

From: 'Forest of Dean: Bounds of the forest', A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 5: Bledisloe Hundred, St. Briavels Hundred, The Forest of Dean (1996), pp. 295-300.

URL: Date accessed: 02 March 2013.

Hundred was a Saxon administrative "unit", so for example Hundred of St Briavels predates the Norman definition.

Land between the rivers Severn and Leadon, which became the medieval forest of Corse, was probably in the Saxon period a patchwork of woodland, wood pasture and marsh.

In SAXON time this area was part of the kingdom of Hwicce


Ariconium ( Modern Weston Under Penyard ) was probably the town that governed the forest area, the Forest supplying Iron Ore , Charcoal etc to the Empire.


The Dobunni probably rooted more towards the Cotswold escarpment, and the Severn valley
whilst the Silures were rooted in what is today Monmouthshire; probably indicates that the Forest area
was on the boundary of two Celtic tribes.

Welshbury Hill near Littledean and Mitcheldean is believed to be a Dobunni hill fort

Broadly west of the Severn and East of the Wye, and as far north as the Leadon; there is no hard and fast "boundary" for this board, just apply some common sense. i.e. if the family you are interested came from Mid Wales , Kent or Lancashire , and you have no linkage to this area then you are probably best contacting a Forum that specialises in that area , or a general family History forum.

Ἀριστοτέλης A Gloster Boy in the Forest of Dean ><((((*>

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