Rutland Record 34 - Rutland’s Leighfield Forest andMarket Overton under the spotlightThis year’s issue of the Rutland Local History & Record Society’s annual publication, Rutland Record, has just been distributed to members of the Society. The main feature is an account of the many woodlands which formed Leighfield Forest in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries by Anthony (Tony) Squires, an expert on the history of woodland in the east Midlands who has got to know the story of Rutland’s ancient forests better than anyone.Tony’s article gives details of over fifty individual woodlands which are recorded in documents dating from the thirteenth century onwards. He is able to locate most of them in the parishes of Beaumont Chase, Belton, Braunston, Brooke, Leighfield, Ridlington, Stoke Dry, Uppingham and Wardley. They were part of the medieval Royal Forest of Rutland, which gradually fell into decay and became fragmented, so that today only a few remnants of that old hunting forest remain: Prior’s Coppice (which had once belonged to the prior of Brooke), Stoke Dry Wood and Wardley Wood. Tony describes how these changes happened, how the woods were managed, how big they were, and what species of tree were to be found. This article completes the survey of Rutland’s ancient woodlands which he began in Rutland Record 31 (published in 2011, still available).
The other main article in this issue is by Kate Cooper and looks at the early history of Market Overton. She recounts the story of archaeological excavations which have taken place on Roman and Anglo-Saxon sites in the parish, and sets the record straight about the location of some of these important sites.Finally, Dr Simon Dixon describes some of the resources in the University of Leicester Library’s local history collection which will be helpful to anyone working on the history of the County of Rutland.As usual Rutland Record concludes with notes on a great variety of archaeological and historical work, including building surveys, in Rutland during the previous year, with reports from the museums, record offices and societies whose interests and responsibilities cover the county’s heritage. The Society’s Honorary Editor, Tim Clough, said, ‘Once again, we have been able to harness the expertise of contributors with a special interest in aspects of Rutland’s long and varied history. Rutland Record is included in our membership subscription, as are monthly lectures and other events covering the widest range of periods and subjects. We would encourage anyone with an interest of Rutland’s past to come and join us – full information about publications and meetings is given on our website, www.rutlandhistory.org’.Copies of the new publication can be obtained as usual from the Rutland Local History & Record Societyat the Rutland County Museum for £4.50 (plus £1.25 p&p), via local bookshops, or Click here to order online using our Genfair Service . ISBN-13: 978-0-907464-50-1.For further information, please contact: Tim Clough, Honorary Editor, RLHRS, Rutland County Museum,Catmose Street, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6HW, or tel 01572 722316, or e-mail email@example.com.