The following paper was presented at the New Forest Knowledge Conference 2017 entitled: New Forest Historical Research and Archaeology: who’s doing it? Below you will find the abstract of the paper and a video of the paper given if permission to film it was given by the speaker.
Katherine Blayney, University of Oxford
Twelfth century chroniclers, such as Orderic Vitalis and John of Worcester, claimed that the creation of the New Forest led to the destruction of houses and churches, and families being driven from the land. This paper looks at the information in Domesday Book to assess the communities that existed in the south-west of Hampshire before the creation of the New Forest, and uses ArcGIS mapping software to illustrate the transformation of the region by 1086, using the Domesday data. It draws together recent scholarship on royal forests and the New Forest in particular, and questions the extent to which the prosperity of this part of Hampshire had been affected by conquest, land clearance, and afforestation.