Thursday, 28 July 2011

Gallows in the forest?

In Medieval Sherwood Forest is a large mound listed as a Bronze Age Burial Mound on the Nottinghamshire Historic Environment Record it was surveyed in 2007 by Nottinghamshire Community Archaeologists Andy Gaunt and Emily Gillott. 

It is now believed to be the location of the Gallows of the Royal Manor of Mansfield known as 'Galow Tre Hyl' on a medieval map of Sherwood Forest.


  1. Very interesting. There is a Gibbetdale Wood, still marked on maps showing public footpaths. This is alongside the King's Great Way as it passes Newstead and approaches Thieves Wood.

  2. Thanks for the comment!
    I had a look into the gibbetdale wood to the southeast of Newstead as although it is alongside the Kings Highway it was a bit south of Thieves Wood.
    The 'Gibbetdale wood' is shown as 'Gippitt Dale Wood' on Sandersons 1835 map of 20 miles around Mansfield. There are also a 'Near Gippitt dale' and a 'far Gippit dale'.
    The English Pacenames society entry suggests 'Gybbe may stand for Gilbert a possible owner of the pits'- this seems a bit sketchy to me! It may indeed reflect the location of a gibbet, but it may also be a reference to pits. Newstead is littered with quarries dating back to medieval times- Lyndby stone is and was a very prized local building stone. Maybe Gippitt is a reference to this- either way it is a very useful name for the landscape archaeologist.
    Some other local names include Gunthorpe Hagg wood that is in the northern part of the abbey lands. This may relate to Gunwey Forthe(ford) which is an entry on the Belvoir Map- along with Swynsti dale- which is preserved in the modern name Swinecotte dale (pig house or sti), which is the current entrance way valley for Newstead Abbey. All of these names reflect the older landscape of the forest! All interesting stuff!

  3. Hi Andy, do you have a copy of your survey of Thieves Wood Burial Mound available? I've not been able to find a live link anywhere and would like to know more about the area. Am going on a wonder on to Thieves Wood this evening, hope I find the mound.