Sunday, 16 October 2011

Voices from the forest

The oldest surviving map of Sherwood Forest is known as the Belvior Map and is dated from the late 14th or early 15th centry.

It is a fantastic resource for understanding and rebuilding the landscape of Medieval Sherwood Forest

It is also possible to hear the voices of the people who lived in the forest from a detailed study of its text.

The map consists of a list of places and topographic features such as hills, streams and valleys.

The names used in the map have a distinctively northern aspect revealled by the form 'forth' for ford and also the use of the word 'hoyle' for hole (Ferny Hoyle, Netilworth Hoyles, Tyb Hoyle) and 'roide' or 'royde' for road ( ye royde of Boluel, ye Rede Royde Hil, Yo Roide Imbelow) (Barley 1986).

This diphthongization had been thought characteristic of the area of South Yorkshire, but this map shows this accent and dialogue was spoken throughout Medieval Sherwood Forest as well.

It is wonderful to be able to hear the voices of the Medieval people of Sherwood Forest through this historic map.

The people can be heard if you know where to listen...

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