- Forest of East Derbyshire
The Forest of East Derbyshire was, in medieval times, an area of wooded heath between the River Derwent and the
River Erewashin Derbyshire.
Forest of High Peakand Duffield Frithit was not taken over by William I, but became a royal forest in the reign of Henry II. Stretching as it did over practically the whole length of the present-day county it was much larger than the other two. Bordering on Sherwood Forest, it made a continuous area stretching from the River Derwent to the Trent.
The custodians were the Cauz family of Laxton in
Nottinghamshire, who had inherited it from Geoffrey Alselinwho was related by marriage to Gerard de Normanville, who it is believed had been made custodian of Sherwood Forest by William I.
Matilda de Cauz had married
Ralph Fitzstephen, chamberlain to Henry II. On his death in 1202, King John seized the manor of Laxton and her custodianship of the forest, which were restored to her in 1217after his death.
Custodianship of Sherwood Forest passed to John de Birkin, then to his son, and finally by marriage to Robert de Everingham. However in
1225East Derbyshire was disafforested. It may be about this time that William de Ferrers II extended Duffield Frith to the east of the River Derwent to build a new hunting lodge at Belper.
Turbutt, G., (1999) "A History of Derbyshire. Volume 2: Medieval Derbyshire," Cardiff: Merton Priory Press
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