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PARC LE BREOS, MANAGED WOODLAND
- Map Reference
- Grid Reference
- Unitary (Local) Authority
- Old County
- Type of Site
- MANAGED WOODLAND
- Broad Class
- Agriculture and Subsistence
- Medieval;Post Medieval
Woodland now constitutes the central core of what was the medieval deer-park of Parc le Breos (NPRN 300001), being concentrated in a limestone gorge at the park's centre. The earliest reference to woodland hereabouts dates from the early thirteenth century, possibly as 'reserved' woodland ('Silva de Breos'), immediately prior to its emparkment in the 1220s. Medieval account rolls indicate the harvesting of underwood and this continued after disparkment in the sixteenth century. Badminton Estate records of the post-medieval period record woodland coppice management here. Although woodland now forms a seemless whole across the area it was once partitioned into several parcels; some, if not all, were enclosed.
Fourteen wood names are noted in the Tithe award of the 1840s. Wood management was in decline by the later nineteenth century when the estate was sold to the Vivian family. Coniferous and deciduous woodland was subsequently planted.
Now owned by the Forestry Commission the woodland is used primarily as an amenity area. However, some parts of the woods have recently been managed as coppice in order to facilitate licensed charcoal burning which was carried out on an annual basis.
Enclosure banks, visible in the forestry, may have originated in early wood management.
David Leighton, RCAHMW, 20 April 2012