"No Forest is equal in beauty to an oak forest and no such oak forest is to be found elsewhere to match the Royal Forest of Dean. It is the 'Queen of Forests'."
Forest of Dean Tourist Information and Travel Guide
Originally chosen by the Saxons primarily for hunting its abundance of wild game, this large tract of woodland was reserved as a royal hunting ground sometime prior to 1066. It wasn't until 1086 that The Forest of Denu was officially recorded in the 'Domesday Book'. Denu being old English for Dene or Dean and taken from the Denu valley situated in the north-east of the area. Some historians also believe the Forest of Dean derived its name from the ancient Norman ruins of 'Old Castle of Dene' combined with the Valley of Dene near Littledean.
In 1938 The Forest of Dean was declared England's first National Forest Park, and over the years underwent a program of reforestation until, today, the woodland now covers an estimated 24,000 acres.
The period during which 'The Archer's Diary' is set, The Royal Forest of Dean extended further north than shown by the map (above), encompassing Hay-on-Wye and straddled the border between Wales and England.
Credit: © 2018 Chris Jones