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Needwood Forest

"Needwood Forest forms one of the most beautiful and highly cultivated territories in the honour of Tutbury, which contains 9437 acres of land, in the five parishes of Hanbury, Tutbury, Tatenhill, Yoxall, and Rolleston, and subdivided into the four wards of Tutbury, Barton, Marchington, and Yoxall, which together form a district of over seven miles in length and three in breadth, extending northwards from Wichnor to Marchington Woodlands."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]

Bibliography

'Peter Thomson, of Needwood Forest, or, Industry Rewarded, A Cottager's Tale'
by Anon
Published 1824, by F Houlston & Son, Wellington, Salop.

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Church History

"Though at its enclosure, the forest land was all assigned to pay parochial rates to the townships of the five surrounding parishes, it still forms a separate ecclesiastical juristiction, and for the use of its inhabitants a handsome church, dedicated to Christ, was erected in 1805. The church stands in the Tutbury ward and in Rolleston parish, and for baptisms and burials, double fees are paid, of which one half is claimed by the incumbent of that parish from which they respectively arise.
The perpetual curacy is in the patronage of the Queen, and incumbency of the Rev Humphrey Price, who has held the living since 1819."

[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]

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Church Records

Church of England Registers
The register of Christ Church, Needwood Forest, commences in 1809. The original registers for the period 1809-1995 (Bapts) & 1810-1995 (Bur) are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts, 1813-1849 (with gaps 1830, 1839, & 1845-47) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.

Description and Travel

A transcription of the section on Needwood Forest from A Topographical History of Staffordshire by William Pitt (1817)

History

Needwood Forest was an ancient hunting forest or chase, a member of the Duchy of Lancaster until the accession of Henry IV, when it became a possession of the Crown. The enclosure act of 1803 empowered the commissioners to disafforest it, and divide the land between various claiments, but this was not completed until 1811.
The officers of the forest were a lieutenant and chief ranger, assisted by a deputy, four lieutenants, four keepers and an axe bearer. A court was held annually, by the King's Steward of the Honour of Tutbury, when a jury of 24 residents dealt with cases of encroaching on the forest and poaching of venison.
There were anciently eight parks within the forest, Agardsley, Stockley, Barton, Heylyns, Sherholt, Castle Hay, Hanbury, and Rolleston.
Before enclosure, the only dwellings within the forest were the lodges of Byrkeley, Ealand, Yoxall, and Sherholt, but subsequently, many villas and farmhouses were built.

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