The last perambulation of Sherwood Forest, (A.D. 1662.)
with notices of other known examples
By A. Stapleton.
The following walk of the Forest of Sherwood is printed and corrected from a copy, kindly lent to me by Mr. William Stevenson, which itself is a recent transcription from the contemporary record in the forest book. Being made in the year 1662 Mr. Stevenson believes it to have been the last of the perambulations, and I have every reason for thinking the same. It goes more into detail than any of the other printed examples and as the task of going over the ground to make it occupied the twelve jurors for nearly a month, they must have been at considerable pains to set down the bounds with precision. No doubt some length of time had then elapsed since the last one was made. This would account for the difficulties of the work,—the details of the bounds, as is mentioned in one place, being lost to the memory of the natives. One mistake at least was made,—one which, curiously, has similarly been made by our local historians. To give Mr. Stevenson's own words—"The jury mistook the old former bounds of the forest west of Nottingham meadows—the old course of the Leen alluded to in the earlier perambulations, which excluded Wilford lordship. This old course was by the second gate above the Trent Bridge. It formed the boundary of Nottingham meadows and Wilford, leaving Daft's Wey House out of the forest, including Cremorne Gardens. They read in the forest book it was by the old course of the Leen, and as they could not find a water above the Trent Bridge before they came opposite to Wilford Church they seized upon that water course as the boundary. This shows the errors that the old style of perambulations were liable to in the absence of maps."
I think the publication of this full and comparatively late perambulation will be appreciated by students. It will be followed by a chapter mainly made up of notes I have at different times jotted down, relating to other perambulations of old Sherwood.
The Perambulation of the Forest of Sherwood, in the County of Nottingham, beginning the six and twentieth day of January in the fourteenth Yeare of the Raigne of our Soveraigne Lord Charles the second, by the Grace of God King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, defender of the Faith, ended the one and twentieth day of February then next following, By William Middleton, Samuel Somersall, Richard Wyld, Nathan Newton, Richard Neale, Nathaniell Foster, Roger Jackson, William Whitehead, John Newton, John Pepper, Oliver Taylor, Henry Trueman, by virtue of a writ in that behalfe directed to Rowland Dand Esq., High Sheriff of tbe County of Nottingham, before the coming of his excellency the Marquis of Newcastle, Chief Justice in Eyre of all His Majesties Forrests, Chases, Parks, and Warrens, Trent North, &c:
Beginning at the Trent Bridge of Nottingham, and from thence ascending after the River of Trent through Wilford Pasture, to the Place where the old Course of Leene falleth into the Trent, which is directly against Wilford Church, where is found three old Courses of the Leene, and two of them doe fall into the Trent in one Streame, directly over against the said Church, but that which is most West of the aforesaid three Courses is ould Leene; And from the Trent it first ascendeth through Willford Beast Pasture, and Willford Meadowes, unto Ditch and Hedg, which goes Southward from the said old Leene towards the Trent, and then it partly [sic] Lenton Holmes, leaveing them South-West from Willford Meadowes, leaveing them on the North-East, and so goeth to Willow Holme, leaveing it on the East, and there the Highway from Willford to Lenton is on the West, then the said old Leene crosseth over the said Highway, at the South end of Willford Lane, which leadeth from Wilford to Lenton, and turning up a Land called Cheynie Lane between Lydgate-wonge on the North, and Morton Close on the South, and soe goeth into the right Course of the Leene on the West side of the Abby Milne of Lenton, and soe ascendeth by the same Leene to Buttry Milne, then to another Milne at the North Side of Lenton, then to Radford Milne, soe to Allin Milne, from thence to Bobber's Milne, from thence to Linitt Hall, and soe to Yelland Hall, where is a Milne upon the said River of Leene, from thence to Basford, where the Streame is turned from the old Course to serve a Milne there, and it is turned from the old Course at a place called the Old Carr, and it cometh into the old Course again a little beneath Basford Church, which Church is on the West side of the same River of Leene, and soe from Basford to Bulwell, and then (as the old Forrest Booke saith) it leaveth the Leene, and goeth something Westward unto a place called Thorlwell, and thence to the Hedge of Hinddale, and soe to a Milne Gate, and thence to Watnall Stighe, and from thence to Rudditch, alonge to the said Ditch, which last mentioned meires, because most of them are worne out of minde and unknown to us, and to the Inhabitants thereabouts, we passed after the said River of Leene unto a Walke Milne there, and soe to the Foard above the Walke Milne near Beskwood Park side, to Waterfall gate, and soe ascending up the Water of Leene unto Lynbie Milne, and from thence to Lynbie Crosse, and then it turneth to Lynbie Hall gate, and then followeth the Highway neare unto the Henn Oake, or Stand Oake, leaveing the same on the South, and leaveing Hoult Milne and Oxley Well on the South side alsoe, and soe to Pismire gate, leaveing the old Castle of Ansley on the East, and soe passeth up a dale in Ansley Eastfield and goeth to a place called Chesterfeild Lydgate, from thence to Stiegate and Stillcotts, then to Blewbolder, which is a Stone lying near Ansley feild hedge, directly against Annot Lane, and ascending North-west to the said Lane, leaving Ansley Woodhouse Grounds West from thence, and soe it descendeth to a stone in the middle of Nunn Carrhedge, unto a place called the Grives, and then it followeth after Kirkby feild side to Acbridge Lane, and through the same, and at the East end of Acbridge Lane it turneth into the Closes on the right Hand, South-eastward by a Stone Pitt between long meadow, leaving long meadow on the West side, and Stone Pitt Meadow on the North East, and then it turneth after the ditch there more northward of Manshead alias Manswell, which is the Head of Water of Man, and soe between Hardwicke Hall and Hardwicke Dove Coate, then it followeth a great Causey from Hardwicke Hall Gate, then turneth Northward towards the Regarders Mere, which ought to be about Thirty Foot broad, unto the Brook there, and entereth into Anticroft Lane, and followeth the Lane soe far as the Grounds of Hardwicke do extend, and then it turneth Westward out of the Lane to Anticroft Closes, following the Hedge that parteth Hardwicke Grounds from Sutton Grounds, then it followeth the Regarders Meere, which parteth Sutton feilds from Kirkby feilds, leaving Kirkby on the South and South West side, passing by the South end of Howbrincke Lane, and entering into Howbrincke Closes, descending by a Ditch that parteth Kirkby Hennings on the South, still following the ditch, and leaving the Dole and Dole Lane on the South and at the West end of Dole Lane it entereth into Fullwood, still descending by the Ditch and Hedg to the North end of Malkin Lane, and there it entereth into Cuttle Closes and goeth along by the river of Maggehouse, descending still by Brinkhill ponds and through the same ponds, at the nethermost end of the same ponds it meeteth with another ditch, and then returneth Northward after the same ditch, leaving the old Backhouse or Brookhill on the East part, and soe ascendeth by a great deep ditch Northward to Fullwood Closes, alias Fullwood Fields, and soe to Slate Bridge and soe it turneth more West to a place or Thickett called Hullothall, and thence it turneth more northward in the said closes to Fullwood Common, against a slade, and so by a small slate to Brinssall Hedge, and followeth the Hedge, and then entereth into the next close called Hantherland, and to Hawkswell, which is on the side of the Hill in Hantherland, and from thence it descendeth to Nimbrick: And from thence it ascendeth after Blakewell Brooke, which parteth Nottinghamshire from Derbyshire, and soe to Redding Sicke, and so ascendeth to Newtonwood Sicke and followeth the woods to Whiteborowherne or Whiteborowyate, at a Crosse way there that leadeth to Durty Hucknall, and then it followeth the Hedge that parteth Whiteborow Grounds from Durty Hucknall fields, then descendeth to a Sicke at Ferneyhill nooke, and still descendeth to Horpseley Nooke, and soe by the same Sicke between Howthwait and Whiteborow Grounds to the More close Nooke and descendeth still by the Water which runneth betweene Teversall and Skegby, to Foughley Bridge, and descending still by the same water under Teversall Parke, to an assart that belongeth to Skegby, at the East Corner of the same Parke, then it descendeth by the same water, which now is called Mayden, alias Madenbroooke, between the Fields of Teversall and Skegby, to Teversall Bridge that leadeth from Teversall to Skegby, then it ascendeth by the same Way Southward, to the long close gapp, a close in Skegby soe named, then turneth Eastward, descending to tbe Milneford Bridge, beneath Skegby Milne, and so up the valne to Nottingham greate way, and then downe the same way to Hartley, alias East Bridg, near to Newbold Milne, from thence it descendeth after the same River of Mayden, from which it departeth eastward at Teversall Bridge, and so along unto Plesley Millne, where stood a Crosse named Robinhood's Crosse, the Streame going through the Milne dam by it old Course, and beneath the Milne dam the Streame is put from it old Course to the North, and descendeth still by the same River of Mayden, as it anciently ranne, which is alsoe put out of it old Course against Radnthorpe-Woodhouse Fields, towards the North, near unto Plesley Park, and soe descending by the said River of Mayden near to Warsoppe Parke, leaving Mansfield-Woodhouse field, and Nettleworth, on the South, and so by the said River through Warsopp Towne, unto Warsopp Milne, leaveing the Church there on the North, and soe down to Ellsley Ford, and descending still to Gleadthorpe, leaving the same on the North, and soe to Maggley ford, which is at the Nether end of Gleadthorpe Closes, and then it crosseth over the River of Mayden, and descendeth by an old Ditch between the Hunsmore Oaks, leaveing them on the East, and the King's stand, leaveing the same on the West, and so to Hesell Gapp and Hesselfield, leaveing the same on the South, then following the High Street to Nortonsfields side, and so descending to Leeming Milne and there crosseth the Water Palter, and descendeth from thence to Preest Crowne, a Hill so named, and Catthill, and followeth up after a Hedg, which in some places is pailed and so going on forwards, according to the old Forrest Booke, by a Hedg by Romewood, and the Grounds called Clowne Fields, and soe unto the Parke of Wellbeck, following the Pale and leaving the Park on the West part untill it cometh unto the Way that leadeth to Byard Stable and then it turneth Eastward, after the same way called Rodgate, or the Outgate of the Forrest, to the East end of Warrwood, and there it maketh the return Southward, and is crossed with a gate or way that leadeth East and West, very near unto Rodegate, and soe goeth still southward, crossing over the way or gate that leadeth from Mansfield to Bawtrie, leaving Clumberfields on the East, untill it enter in at Clumberyate, and descendeth to Clumber Stone, which lyeth near the House, leaving the House and Stone East, and there it passeth over the Water named Palter, at Clumber to a Stone which lyeth on the East side of Illingres, alias Hellingers, which is on the North side of the Highway, and there it turneth still more southward over the next gate that goeth from Ellsley to Awsland, and is there marked with the Keepers Marks T, and soe near a Thorn, and up that way towards Awsland, a little off and then goeth downe the Forrest Balk, and then crossed as it goeth forward, with the Highway that leadeth from Bottomfall to Merrial-Bridges, to Awsland, and soe directly to Thowrsby Fields, and it descendeth to the Parson's Balke, beinge in the upper end of the Fielde Five Lands from the Hedge, and in the nether end Seaven Lands, leaveing the Hedge on the East part, so it descendeth to the East end of Thowrsby, to a stone in the Lane that goeth from thence to Ellesley, and soe descends to the forenamed Water of Mayden, and so turneth Eastward, by and after the said Water, unto Coniswathford, which is at Haughton Park Side and soe returneth from the said Ford, following the old High Street of Blith, which is a way that leadeth from Nottingham to Blith by Horton Parke side, and followeth the same hie street to a place called White Water, and so along the said Street, leaveing Boughton Fields on the East part, and Olerton Fields, and the Towne, on the West part, and soe to Blith Street Lane, which goeth up to Mellow, alias Melleigh, and there it is crossed with a way which goeth from Newarke to Warsopp and there it entereth into the Demesnes of Rufford at Wellye Gapp, and still proceedeth by an old Lane crossing a great Way leading from Kneesall to Mansfield, by Reuen Grange, leaveing it on the East, and leaveing Wellye also on the East, and then neare unto Blackestone Hall now called Southsellrs leaveing the old Parke on the East and proceedeth along by the said Parke, to the way that goeth to Nottingham, between Shire Oaks field and the Brook that runneth into Rufford Dam, and so along the said Highway betweene the fields of Bilesthorpe and Winkersfield, and then to an old ditch which is the outside of the Boundaries of Rufford on the East, untill it come unto a stone called the Abbots Stone which is the Pertition between the Grounds of the Abbott of Rufford and of the Archbishop of Yorke, and so it extendeth itself Southward till it come over against Darton Grange, and always keeping the way, turning a little Westward until it come to the River of Dorbeck, the which said great way goeth towards Nottingham and which River of Dorbeck where the said great way goeth over it is neare adjoining to a place called Driesicke, and near the Highway which leadeth from Oxen to Blidworth, down from Hey wood, and so descendeth directly under Dorcliffe, and then to Salterfordam, and from thence in a direct line to Oxen Milne, and down to Epperstone Milne, and so to Grimes Moor (where the water was antiently wont to runn) and from Grimes Moor downe to Woodborow Milne, and to Lowdham Milne, and so to Gunaston Milne, and from thence to Lowdham Milne, and soe to Baker's Milne, and so downe unto Forringham Milne, and then to Cathorppe Milne, and soe as the River was wont to run in ancient time into the River of Trent, directly over against a place where a Milne stood, on the southside Trent, in the Lordshipp of East Bridgford, and from thence it ascendeth up the River of Trent, near unto the Abbey or Mannour of Shelford. Soe that the said Abbey is without the Forrest, and from thence by the said water of Trent, where of ancient time it were wont to runne, thorough the meadowes of Shelford Towne, on the South East part of the New Course now of Trent along, to the Mannour of Collwick, and there were the Trent was wont to run of old time, Soe that the Inclosure called Heylin is within the Forrest, and from thence by the said Water of Trent, where alsoe it antiently rann, downe unto Nottingham Bridge, alias Holl-beth Bridge, alias Hellibeth Bridge, where it began, soe endeth.
Copied from a Book in the Possession of William Clay, Esq., of Southwell.