The verderers’ court for preliminary hearing of forest offences. Sat usually every sixth week, chiefly concerned in adjudicating cases of trespasses to the vert. In the case of venison, the offences were recorded for presentation to the Justice in Eyre of Forests. Sometimes the attachment court was called a swanimote, or the two merged. In Dean, the attachment court became known as The Speech Court where local people attended to solicit their needs for estovers.
Commonable animals in forest – chiefly horses and cattle. Usually a term applied in medieval times in official documents purposefully evading reference to sheep (which together with goats were uncommonable animals in Forest).
Sufferance by the Crown of an individual or community to exercise grazing, herbage and pannage. In Dean, the extent of available grazing decreases or increases as the amount and content of the fenced inclosures varies.
Local people claiming sufferance of commoning ( locally termed turn-out ). Often referred to as sheep badgers. The 2001 agreement specifies they must be aged 18 and over, have adequate back land, and resident in the Hundred of St.Briavels
Crown Freehold Land
Parcels of freehold land owned by the Crown within the Statutory Forest. They are exempt from commoning privileges. They generally arose where Crown land after sale or lease was later re-acquired by the Crown.
Since 1633, the Crown’s representative in the Forest. Nowadays, the senior Forestry Commission officer.
Encroachment is effectively theft of forest land and usually involves an illegal enclosure.
An allowance of firewood, poles and timber released by the court of attachment as a privilege to the local populace. Not exercised in Dean since the Act of 1668.
A judges tour or the principal forest court, due to be held every three years. It was chiefly concerned with fines for serious breaches of forest law. The last was held in Dean in 1656.
The closed or forbidden month because of the fawning of deer from 9 June to 9 July. Cancelled in Dean by the Act of 1971.
Its traditional definition is a territory, usually unenclosed, and not necessarily woodland but often covered with woods of varying density, but also included heathland, wood pasture, arable and even villages. It was designated by perambulation and used by the sovereign for his or her assigned, hunting, and subject to his will by forest law. The protection of deer and their habitat was paramount. In early centuries, forest virtually meant the King?s hunting ground.
Took precedence in forest over Common law. Applied punishment and restriction, but also maintained a system of husbandry well suited to the exploitation of woodland and waste.
Unenclosed and uncultivated forest land. Since 1833, it is part of the Statutory Forest and effectively means any land owned by the Forestry Commission that is not woodland.
That which beasts feed on or anciently payment for putting animals to graze in the Forest.
Hundred of St. Briavels
An area of land substantially larger than the Statutory Forest, only a portion owned by the Crown. Named from c.1154. The hundred was an administrative sub-division of the shire. Notionally it comprised 100 hides (said to be the amount of land which would support a household).
An area of Forest fenced for the purpose of protecting growing trees as defined in the 1668 and 1808 Acts.
Since the 1668 Act, the sufferance of feeding swine in woods in autumn following the fall of acorns and beech-mast. In Dean, the pannage season runs from 25 September to 22 November.
The King’s open land, lawn, green or common in forest where commonable animals could graze (subject to restrictions) on payment by their owners.
Delimitation of the Forest by metes and bounds. Undertaken by walking/riding but sometimes by consultation, enquiry and perusal of documents. Last formally undertaken in 1832 as part of the re-designation the Statutory Forest, and less formally by the Deputy Surveyor and colleagues in May 2000.
An area within boundaries last delimited in 1833. Contains not only areas of trees and forest waste, but also private and Council owned land ? Forestry Commission land comprises about 80 per cent of the area.
A forest court of presentment. Sometimes merged with the attachment court, significantly in Dean. The last relevant reference in Dean was in 1787.
The flesh of beasts which were hunted ( chiefly deer and wild boar ). Sometimes used in reference to the actual animals.
Trees, undergrowth, heathland and other vegetation growing in woodland and capable of serving as habitat and sustenance for the beasts of the forest.
An ancient Dean forest division to facilitate organisation and management. Usually in the charge of a Keeper. There were six in the Dean.
Areas of woodland where grazing is managed in combination with a proportion of open tree canopy cover.