Mansfield - In The Heart of Sherwood Forest
"Mansfield !!!! Where on Earth is that ???"
Mansfield is a very large TOWN in Nottinghamshire, central England, on the western border of Sherwood Forest.
The Town lies in a coal district, with manufactures of hosiery, shoes, and metal products.
Prehistoric cave dwellings are in the vicinity, as is a medieval church. The grammar school there was founded in 1561. Mansfield Woodhouse, a nearby mining and quarrying village, was once a forest post for guarding against wolves.
Archaeology has revealed very little about the ancient history of Mansfield, though much is now known about earliest settlers in the valley of the River Meden, the northern boundary of Mansfield District. In the open fields here have been found many pieces of stone tools used by wandering hunter-gatherer people over 10,000 years ago
However, the earliest known remains of permanent settlement are much more recent, dating from about 70 A.D. At this time, the Romans had conquered most of Southern Britain, and brought peace between previously warring Celtic tribes, allowing the development of undefended farms.
There are several of these farms in the Meden valley, some of which developed right through the period of Roman rule, from crude huts to sophisticated country homes with central heating, brightly painted interior walls, and in one known case a patterned mosaic floor in the main reception room.
The origins of the name Mansfield are debatable.
Some say the noble family of Mansfield who came over with William the Conqueror gave it to the town. Otherssay that it derives from the name of the river that runs through the town - the Man or Maun.
Some suggest that it comes from the Anglo-Saxon word "manson", meaning traffic and field - a place of trade - which is another possibility.
A stream whose source was close to Hamilton Hill, to the south west of the town could also be the origin of the name. The hill was known as the "Mam" and it is believed the stream was called "Mamesheued". The fact that the town is referred to as "Mammesfeld" in the Domesday Book gives strength to this theory.