Inglewood Forest is the name now given on maps to a large tract of mainly arable and dairy farm land with a few small woodland areas between Carlisle and Penrith in the English non-metropolitan county of Cumbria or ancient county of Cumberland.
Soon after the Norman conquest of England this area became a Royal Forest. The word forest in this sense did not necessarily mean a wooded area but one that was set aside for hunting though several areas of Inglewood were heavily wooded. The animals that were hunted in this area were mainly deer and wild boars.
Inglewood means the "Wood of the English or Angles": although Cumbria is usually thought of as a Celtic region, Angles did migrate here before the Viking Invasions and the rule of the area by the Scottish Kingdom of Strathclyde, and the name suggests significant numbers had settled here.
The forest boundaries changed many times and included at one time most of the Cumberland wards of Leath and Cumberland but the core or heart of the forest was the parishes of Hesket-in-the-Forest, Skelton and Hutton-in-the-Forest.
- "Lytil Jhon and Robyne Hude
- Wayth-men ware commendyd gude
- In Yngil-wode and Barnysdale
- Thai oysyd all this tyme thare trawale."
The forest ultimately belonged to the English Crown and was governed by the strict Forest Law exercised by wardens. In the reign of Henry VIII the forest laws were repealed and Inglewood ceased to be a Royal Forest although it is still to this day marked on maps as such".
The borough and city of Carlisle (the area within the city walls) was outside the forest though Penrith was within it and was the main administrative centre and market town for the southern part of the region.
The manors of Penrith, Great Salkeld, Langwathby, Carlatton (not Carleton as it sometimes said to be), Castle Sowerby and Scotby were collectively known as the Honour of Penrith and were at first given to the Scottish crown in exchange for Scotland giving up its claim to all of Cumberland. In 1272 King Alexander III complained that a William de Leyburne, the local seneschal, has unlawfully appropriated the manors' rents. Later Edward I took them for himself. Later they passed to the Neville family but came back to being Crown property during the Wars of the Roses and remained so until the joint reign of William III and Mary II. The honour was also known as "The Queen's Hames" due to the fact the manors were often given to a Queen consort on her marriage or at the death of the previous consort. The last Queen consort to be Lady of the Manor or Honour was Queen Catharine of Braganza, consort of Charles II.
- Joseph Bain (ed.), Calendar of documents relating to Scotland, volume 2.
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