The Forest of Dean An Historical and Descriptive Account

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Genres: Archaeology
Language: English
Type: Digital

Here's a summary of The Forest of Dean: An Historical and Descriptive Account by H. G. Nicholls:

Focus and Content:

  • The book centers on the Forest of Dean, a historical woodland area in Gloucestershire, England.
  • It combines historical and descriptive elements, aiming to provide a comprehensive account of the forest.

Historical Aspects:

  • Nicholls likely delves into the long history of the Forest of Dean, potentially covering aspects like:
    • Early settlements and land use within the forest.
    • The development of the forest as a royal hunting ground and a source of timber for shipbuilding and other purposes.
    • The evolution of laws and regulations governing the forest's use and management.
    • The lives and customs of the foresters (people who lived and worked in the forest).
    • The impact of historical events on the forest and its communities.

Descriptive Elements:

  • The book likely offers a detailed description of the Forest of Dean at the time of publication (likely mid-19th century). This could include:
    • Geographical features: Descriptions of the forest's topography, flora, and fauna.
    • Villages and settlements: Insights into the communities living within or near the forest.
    • Industries and occupations: Exploration of activities like charcoal burning, mining, and quarrying that took place within the forest.
    • Local customs and folklore: Recordings of traditions, stories, and legends associated with the Forest of Dean.

Potential Value:

  • Historical Record: The book serves as a valuable historical record, documenting the Forest of Dean's past and the lives of its inhabitants.
  • Social and Environmental History: It offers insights into the relationship between people and the forest environment over time.
  • Preserving Local Knowledge: Nicholls might record local customs and traditions that might have been lost without his documentation.


  • Author's Perspective: Published in the mid-19th century, the book reflects the views and biases of that time.
    • Environmental management practices or social structures might be described differently today.
  • Focus on the Past: The book primarily focuses on the history and description of the Forest of Dean up to the time of publication.

Overall Significance:

  • The Forest of Dean: An Historical and Descriptive Account by H. G. Nicholls offers a valuable resource for anyone interested in the rich history, environment, and cultural heritage of the Forest of Dean.
  • It provides a window into a specific time period and serves as a foundation for further exploration of this unique woodland area.


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