Catalogue description Forestry Commission and predecessors: Director of Forestry for England, Correspondence and Papers, Dean Forest

This record is held by Gloucestershire Archives

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Details of F 3
Reference: F 3
Title: Forestry Commission and predecessors: Director of Forestry for England, Correspondence and Papers, Dean Forest

Until 1810 these were the records of the Surveyors General of Woods and Forests, and from 1811 to 1924 of the Office of Woods, Forests and Land Revenues.

This series is broadly concerned with the administration of the Forest of Dean by the Crown through the Forestry Commission and its predecessors. Most files concern mines and quarries within the Forest.

This series is in the process of being transferred to Gloucestershire Record Office.

Date: 1786-1957

Arranged by the number of the files opened by the Forestry Commission. All the quarry identification numbers shown in the list are those given in the quarry lease books kept by the Deputy Gaveller.

Related material:

A microfilm copy of the original index of this series is in PRO 28/42

Held by: Gloucestershire Archives, not available at The National Archives
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 1556 file(s)
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure
Custodial history: The records were transferred from the Public Record Office to Gloucestershire Record Office on 17 January 2002
Unpublished finding aids:

A photocopy of this film bound in three volumes is also available. Please speak to staff at the enquiry desk for the precise location.

Administrative / biographical background:

The Forest of Dean has one or two local institutions which exist in few if any other places; for example the Verderers Court. Since the later Norman days the inhabitants of the Forest of Dean and the land immediately surrounding have had various rights in the forest, and it is the verderers who have some jurisdiction over disputes about, and offences against, these rights. The commoners, as those who are entitled to the rights of the forest are known, are permitted to graze a certain number of animals in those parts of the forest which are thrown open to them, and were once able to cut turf and collect wood sufficient for their personal need. Many of these rights were commuted over the years, but a few still remain.

Mines and quarries have existed within the boundaries of the Forest of Dean since the Roman occupation or even earlier. Here also the inhabitants of the area have had privileges unknown elsewhere. The Crown leases land to the individual freeminers, with the right to mine iron, coal or even in some cases gold and silver, and to quarry stone, in return for an annual rent and a small royalty on produce. These areas of land are known as gales, and the granting of them is arranged through the Deputy Gaveller, who keeps a record of the galees of all mines and quarries.

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