Tuesday, 26 July 2011

The Road to York

The old road to York was one of the most important routes through medieval england.

It passed right through the heart of Sherwood Forest and would have been the haunt of outlaws and bandits offering fear to travellers as it crossed the heathland and by the woodlands of the high forest area.

The road passed through Nottingham having crossed the River Trent at Trent Bridge known as the Hethbeth bridge in Medieval times

The road crossed the meadows to the south of the town before climbing up the cave-lined passage of hollowstone into the heart of the original English settlement. 
 

It passed by the curch of St. Mary's up Stoney Street and northward through the town gate. It by-passed both Castle and Market square as these were later additions by the Normans to the original Saxon settlement, and the old road pre-dated these.

The strategic position on the rock to the west of the road made it an ideal location for a major castle- William the conqueror recongnised this and had William Peveril build a castle here... but more of that later.

Having left through the gates of the medieval walled town it crossed the two great open arable fields of Nottingham before passing the town gallows at the top of the hill. 


The road then set off across the heathland of the Waste of Basford, passing the Manor of Arnold before heading off northwards into the High Forest.

The road further north marked the eastern edge of Sherwood Forest.


The Road to York is mentioned in perambulations of the forest boundary throughout the medieval period, and was considered so important it is mentioned in Domesday Book.


'In Nottingham... the road to York... so protected... if anyone ploughs or makes a dyke within 2 perches of the King's road, he has to pay a fine of £8'...
  

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