The roots of the English royal forest

in Anglo-Norman Studies 32: Proceedings of the Battle Conference 2009, ed. Chris Lewis, 114-128 (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2010)

This paper challenges scholarship on the English forest that focuses on royal hunting. Through an analysis of pre- and post-Conquest Continental charters, the paper first identifies characteristics of areas called forest. It then contrasts the Continental traits to forest in William the Conqueror’s England as documented in charters and Domesday Book. It argues that William imported a specific forest system from Normandy: a system in which nobles could have forest, foresters served nobles in both forest and woodland, and hunting rights were not as important as property management to ensure productivity.

Read the article as a pdf (free) or find more details about the book on the publisher’s website

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