This was a very large manor indeed.
From the time of his grandson Henry II (1154-1189) onwards the focus of royal attention was at nearby Clipstone where the King's houses and the deer park offered more convivial surroundings (see King John's Palace entry for more details).
Despite this lack of royal patronage through visiting the manor- Mansfield remained important to the crown due to the income it generated.
During the 13th century it normally contributed £36. 7s. 6d annually towards the farm of the county paid to the exchequer by the Sheriff (Crook 1984). When the king levied tallage on his demense lands (taxing the directly owned land farmed directly for the king) and boroughs it paid a substantial amount, sometimes nearly as much as the borough of Nottingham itself (ibid).
Mansfield, its fields, woods and heathland made up a major part of the 'High Forest' region of Sherwood Forest.
The maintenance of royal control over Sherwood Forest especially in the 'high forest' was certainly reliant on the control of Mansfield, and the area it covererd and influenced.
The road then crossed (the river) Rainworth Water at 'Gunwey Forth' (ford).
These vast tracts of woodland must have provided a haunt for many of the malefactors, robbers, and ne'er-do-wells who inhabitted the medieval world.
Mansfield was a bustling market community with the usual people going about their business. Evidence for this comes from the surnames of people in the community with smiths, carpenters, bakers, maltsters, spicer and barkers (leather makers- from the use of the oak bark from the forest in the tanning process (more on leather tanning soon)), along with the millers who ground the corn, malt and grain to be used in baking and brewing (Crook 1985).
The town would be a hive of chaos and activity and energy especially on a market day, and would be a stark contrast to a journey across the wastes and woods of the high forest.
A visitor could take refuge in some of the accomodation available in the town before endulging in some of the local beer, for which Nottinghamshire was rightfully well know.