Pannage (also referred to as Eichelmast/Eckerich in Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Austria, Slovenia & Croatia) is the practice of releasing livestock-pigs in a forest, so that they can feed on fallen acorns, beechmast, chestnuts or other nuts. Historically, it was a right or privilege granted to local people on common land or in royal forests.[1]

Especially in the eastern shires of England, pannage was so prominent a value in the economic importance of woodland that it was often employed, as in Domesday Book (1086), as a measurement. Customarily, a pig was given to the lord of the manor for every certain number of pigs loosed de herbagio, as the right of pannage was entered.[1] Edward Hasted quotes the Domesday Survey details for Norton in Kent. "Wood for the pannage of forty hogs".[2]

Pannage is no longer carried out in most areas, but is still observed in the New Forest of Southern England, where it is also known as common of mast. It is still an important part of the forest ecology, and helps the husbandry of the other New Forest livestock – pigs can safely eat acorns as a large part of their diet, whereas excessive amounts may be poisonous to ponies and cattle.

The minimum duration of the New Forest pannage season is 60 days,[3] but the start date varies according to the weather – and when the acorns fall. The Court of Verderers decides when pannage will start each year. At other times, pigs are not allowed to roam on the forest, with the exception that breeding sows (known as "privileged sows") are by custom allowed out, providing that they return to the owner's holding at night and are not a nuisance. The pigs each have several nose rings clipped into their noses to prevent them rooting too much and causing damage to grassland.

Pannage had two very useful purposes in Medieval times:

  • It was a method of fattening the pigs quickly for slaughter
  • Pigs were the "roto-rooters" of their day. In rooting around looking for nuts, they also turned the soil and broke it. The advantage of pigs rooting into it was that the soil was kept from packing down and would release nutrients for plant growth.
Men knocking down acorns to feed swine, from the 14th century English Queen Mary Psalter, MS. Royal 2 B VII f.81v
Pannage in the New Forest
Modern-day pannage, or common of mast, in the New Forest


  1. ^ a b H. R. Loyn, Anglo-Saxon England and the Norman Conquest, 2nd ed. 1991:369.
  2. ^ Hasted, Edward (1798). "Parishes". The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent. Institute of Historical Research. 6: 401–413. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  3. ^ Cooper, Graham. "The New Forest today: Common Rights". The New Forest. Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2010-07-26.

External links

Arbury Priory

Arbury Priory was an Augustinian priory in the parish of Chilvers Coton, Warwickshire, England.

The priory was founded early in the reign of Henry II (c.1150) by Ralph de Sudley and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. The original endowment consisted of the churches of Chilvers Coton and Dassett, together with associated land and the rights to timber, wood for fuel, and pannage. It was later given the church of Weston under Wetherley by an unknown donor. In succeeding centuries more land was either donated or purchased.

In 1235 an enquiry commissioned by the Pope discovered that the priors were living a dissolute life as part of the Arroasian order. He ordered the Bishop of Coventry to convert them to the rule of St Augustine, which he did by transferring suitable monks to Arbury from other establishments to encourage their conversion.

At the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536 the community consisted of a prior and six brothers, plus a number of servants. Arbury was granted to Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, a favourite of the king, whose heiress sold it to Sir Edmund Anderson, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas. He demolished the priory and used the materials to build Arbury Hall.

Back bacon

Back bacon is a cut of bacon that includes the pork loin from the back of the pig. It may also include a portion of the pork belly in the same cut. It is much leaner than side bacon made only from the pork belly. Back bacon is derived from the same cut used for pork chops. It is the most common cut of bacon used in British and Irish cuisine, where both smoked and unsmoked varieties are found.

Calthorpe, Norfolk

Calthorpe is a small village within the civil parish of Erpingham in the English county of Norfolk, United Kingdom. The village is located 0.5 miles (0.80 km) west of the village of Erpingham, 3.4 miles (5.5 km) north of the nearest town of Aylsham and is 15.8 miles (25.4 km) north of the nearest city of Norwich. The nearest railway station is at Gunton for the Bittern Line which runs between Sheringham, Cromer and Norwich and is 7.8 miles (12.6 km) from the village. The nearest airport is Norwich International 14.2 miles (22.9 km) south of the village.

Customary land

Customary land is land which is owned by indigenous communities and administered in accordance with their customs, as opposed to statutory tenure usually introduced during the colonial periods. Common ownership is one form of customary land ownership.

Since the late 20th century, statutory recognition and protection of indigenous and community land rights continues to be a major challenge. The gap between formally recognized and customarily held and managed land is a significant source of underdevelopment, conflict, and environmental degradation.In the Malawi Land Act of 1965, "Customary Land" is defined as "all land which is held, occupied or used under customary law, but does not include any public land". In most countries of the Pacific islands, customary land remains the dominant land tenure form. Distinct customary systems of tenure have evolved on different islands and areas within the Pacific region. In any country there may be many different types of customary tenure.The amount of customary land ownership out of the total land area of Pacific island nations is the following: 97% in Papua New Guinea, 90% in Vanuatu, 88% in Fiji, 87% in the Solomon Islands, and 81% in Samoa.

East Peckham

East Peckham is a small town in Kent, England, made up of nine hamlets and situated about 5 miles (8 km) east of Tonbridge on the River Medway. It was the centre for the hop growing industry in Kent and is still home to the Hop Farm which has the world's largest collection of Oast Houses.

Forest of Galtres

The royal Forest of Galtres was established by the Norman kings of England in North Yorkshire, to the north of the Ancient City of York, extending right to its very walls. The main settlement within the royal forest was the market village of Easingwold, but in 1316 the forest comprised 60 villages in 100,000 acres. The Forest of Galtres was intimately connected with York: Davygate in the city was the site of the forest court and prison, a royal liberty within the city of York; Davygate, from which the forest was administered, commemorates David Le Lardiner, whose father, John the Lardiner, was the Royal Lardiner (steward of the larder, in this case providing venison as well as "tame beasts") for the Forest of Galtres, a title which became hereditary in the family.

During the reign of Henry II, the Forest stood at its greatest extent, but by the fifteenth century, concerns were being voiced over the extent of deforestation.Aside from the kings' pleasure in deer hunting, the forest was a dependable source of timber. For the timber palisades of York Castle, which preceded the stone construction of the 13th century, Galfredo de Cumpton, forestario de Gauterio ("forester of Galtres"), was ordered to supply timbers from the Forest to York, to repair the bridge and breaches in the palicium, in 1225.During the Middle Ages, other rights in the royal forests were also valuable, though they conflicted with the preservation of trees. Pannage, the practice of turning out domestic pigs, in order that they may feed on fallen acorns, beechmast, chestnuts or other nuts, was so important that the Domesday Book often valued forest in terms of its capacity to support pigs. The king's foresters collected fees for pannage rights in a typical year, 1319, from pig farmers, at least one of whom was a pork butcher of York. Some appointments were for a lifetime: on 14 June 1626 Charles I granted footfostership, the keepership of the king's deer in Galtres, to James Rosse, with 4d per diem. Defending the valuable traditional rights of the local peasantry to pasturage within the confines of Galtres led to violence against incursions, even ones legitimated by the king's will: a band of forty armed men assembled from five villages threw down enclosures and burned hedges in the Forest of Galtres in the plague year of 1348.Within the Forest of Galtres a motte-and-bailey castle was built at the site of Sheriff Hutton by Ansketil de Bulmer on land given to him by William the Conqueror; it was rebuilt in 1140 by Bertram de Bulmer, Sheriff of York, during the reign of King Stephen The extant remains of the stone-built Sheriff Hutton Castle were built at the western end of the village by John, Lord Neville in 1382–98.The poet John Skelton set his musing dream in "The Garlande of Laurell" (1523), "studyously dyuysed at Sheryfhotton Castell, in the Forest of Galtres", where

From the poem the reader learns that Elizabeth, Countess of Surrey, with the ladies of her household, was living at Sheriff Hutton. At the time it was a seat of her father-in-law the Duke of Norfolk, who was occupied as general-in-chief of an army raised for the invasion of Scotland.It is referred to in Shakespeare's play Henry IV, Part 2 under the anglicised name of "Gaultree Forest".


A manor in English law is an estate in land to which is incident the right to hold a court termed court baron, that is to say a manorial court. The proper unit of tenure under the feudal system is the fee (or fief), on which the manor became established through the process of time, akin to the modern establishment of a "business" upon a freehold site. The manor is nevertheless often described as the basic feudal unit of tenure and is historically connected with the territorial divisions of the march, county, hundred, parish and township.


A Markwald is an area of woodland that is jointly managed by several villages or towns. It is an historic term that is used in German-speaking Europe and roughly means "common forest."

The woods in a Markwald do not therefore belong to the territory (Gemarkung) of the individual villages, but were part of a joint territory, run by a co-operative, the so-called Markgenossenschaft. Even when a Markgenossenschaft is dissolved, the term Markwald often continues to be used today as the name of the woodland.

Inhabitants of the surrounding municipalities, so long as they are part of the Markgenossenschaft, have the right to fell timber in the Markwald, to leave their cattle to graze in the forest (e.g. droving or pannage) and so on. Hunting rights were not included however. Members of the Markgenossenschaft have a percentage share in the woods, but no specific claim to ownership. They have the right of co-determination and the type of management to be carried out, is jointly agreed, on the advice of the forester responsible, at their annual general meetings. They can, for example, decide if and where plantations are established and whether wind generators may be built within the forest area. They also benefit for example if the income from timber sales or hunting licences exceeds the expenditure.


Meerdaal, also known as Meerdaalwoud and Meerdaalbos, is a woodland lying east of Brussels and south of Leuven, on the loess plateau of Brabant in central Belgium. The bigger part of it has most likely been continuously forested since the Middle Ages, but the archaeological record and geomorphology give evidence of a profound human influence, probably including agriculture, during the Roman era and the Iron Age.

New Forest

The New Forest is one of the largest remaining tracts of unenclosed pasture land, heathland and forest in Southern England, covering southwest Hampshire and southeast Wiltshire.

It was proclaimed a royal forest by William the Conqueror, featuring in the Domesday Book. Pre-existing rights of common pasture are still recognised today, being enforced by official verderers. In the 18th century, The New Forest became a source of timber for the Royal Navy. It remains a habitat for many rare birds and mammals.


Northrepps is a village and a civil parish in the English county of Norfolk. It is 3.4 miles (5.5 km) southeast of Cromer, 22.2 miles (35.7 km) north of Norwich and 137 miles (220 km) north of London. The village lies west of the A149 which runs between Kings Lynn and Great Yarmouth. The nearest railway station is at Cromer for the Bittern Line which runs between Sheringham, Cromer and Norwich. The nearest airport is Norwich International Airport. The village and parish of Northrepps had in the 2001 census a population of 839, increasing to 886 at the 2011 Census. For the purposes of local government, the village falls within the district of North Norfolk.

Parc le Breos

Parc le Breos was a great medieval deer park in the south of the Gower Peninsula, about eight miles (13 km) west of Swansea, Wales, and about 1 1⁄4 miles (2.0 km) north of the Bristol Channel. The park was an enclosed, oval area of 6.7 miles (10.8 km) in circumference, covering about 2,000 acres (810 ha) and measuring ​2 1⁄2 miles (east–west) by just over ​1 3⁄4 miles (4.1 km by 2.9 km). Parc le Breos was established in the 1220s CE by John de Braose (of the powerful Cambro-Norman de Braose dynasty), Marcher Lord of Gower and husband to Margaret Ferch Llywelyn, Llywelyn Fawr's daughter. Other than for deer husbandry, the park received an income from agistment, pannage, and from sales of wild honey, ferns and dead wood. There is evidence of rabbit warrening in the park. Whether the warrens were free or domestic is unknown.The park's boundary was originally marked by a wooden fence, or pale, on the top of an earth bank inside a ditch. Some parts of the pale survive.Prehistoric finds and an Iron Age enclosure (above Parkmill) show the area of Parc le Breos to have been settled by modern humans since the earliest times.


Plumstead is a district of South East London within the Royal Borough of Greenwich. It is located east of Woolwich and is close to the border with the London Borough of Bexley.

Royal forest

A royal forest, occasionally "Kingswood", is an area of land with different definitions in England, Wales, and Scotland. The term forest in the ordinary modern understanding refers to an area of wooded land; however, the original medieval sense was closer to the modern idea of a "preserve" – i.e. land legally set aside for specific purposes such as royal hunting – with less emphasis on its composition. There are also differing and contextual interpretations in Continental Europe derived from the Carolingian and Merovingian legal systems.In Anglo-Saxon England, though the kings were great huntsmen they never set aside areas declared to be "outside" (Latin foris) the law of the land. Historians find no evidence of the Anglo-Saxon monarchs (c. 500 to 1066) creating forests. However, under the Norman kings (after 1066), by royal prerogative forest law was widely applied. The law was designed to protect the venison and the vert, the "noble" animals of the chase – notably red and fallow deer, the roe deer, and the wild boar – and the greenery that sustained them. Forests were designed as hunting areas reserved for the monarch or (by invitation) the aristocracy (see medieval hunting). The concept was introduced by the Normans to England in the 11th century, and at the height of this practice in the late 12th and early 13th centuries, fully one-third of the land area of southern England was designated as royal forest; at one stage in the 12th century, all of Essex was afforested, and on his accession Henry II declared all of Huntingdonshire forest.Afforestation, in particular the creation of the New Forest, figured large in the folk history of the "Norman yoke", which magnified what was already a grave social ill: "the picture of prosperous settlements disrupted, houses burned, peasants evicted, all to serve the pleasure of the foreign tyrant, is a familiar element in the English national story .... The extent and intensity of hardship and of depopulation have been exaggerated", H. R. Loyn observed. Forest law prescribed harsh punishment for anyone who committed any of a range of offences within the forests; by the mid-17th century, enforcement of this law had died out, but many of England's woodlands still bore the title "Royal Forest". During the Middle Ages, the practice of reserving areas of land for the sole use of the aristocracy was common throughout Europe.

Royal forests usually included large areas of heath, grassland and wetland – anywhere that supported deer and other game. In addition, when an area was initially designated forest, any villages, towns and fields that lay within it were also subject to forest law. This could foster resentment as the local inhabitants were then restricted in the use of land they had previously relied upon for their livelihoods; however, common rights were not extinguished, but merely curtailed.

Serbian folk astronomy

This article describes Serbian folk astronomy.

Swindon, Staffordshire

Swindon is a village and civil parish located in Staffordshire, just outside the West Midlands conurbation. The nearest major town is Dudley, approximately five miles eastwards. It stands halfway between the small town of Kingswinford and village of Wombourne.

Historically, Swindon was part of Seisdon rural district, but in 1974 was incorporated into the new local authority of South Staffordshire.

Tangible property

Tangible property in law is, literally, anything which can be touched, and includes both real property and personal property (or moveable property), and stands in distinction to intangible property.In English law and some Commonwealth legal systems, items of tangible property are referred to as choses in possession (or a chose in possession in the singular). However, some property, despite being physical in nature, is classified in many legal systems as intangible property rather than tangible property because the rights associated with the physical item are of far greater significance than the physical properties. Principally, these are documentary intangibles. For example, a promissory note is a piece of paper that can be touched, but the real significance is not the physical paper, but the legal rights which the paper confers, and hence the promissory note is defined by the legal debt rather than the physical attributes.A unique category of property is money, which in some legal systems is treated as tangible property and in others as intangible property. Whilst most countries legal tender is expressed in the form of intangible property ("The Treasury of Country X hereby promises to pay to the bearer on demand...."), in practice banknotes are now rarely ever redeemed in any country, which has led to banknotes and coins being classified as tangible property in most modern legal systems.

Tonbridge Priory

Tonbridge Priory was a priory in Tonbridge, Kent, England that was established in 1124. It was destroyed by fire in 1337 and then rebuilt. The priory was disestablished in 1523. The building stood in 1735, but was a ruin by 1780. The remains of the priory were demolished in 1842 when the South Eastern Railway built the railway through Tonbridge, the original Tonbridge station standing on its site.

West Peckham

West Peckham is a village in the local government district of Tonbridge and Malling in Kent, England. The River Bourne flows through the extreme west of the parish, and formerly powered a paper mill (Hamptons mill) and corn mill (Oxenhoath Mill). The Wateringbury Stream rises in the parish. Oxon Hoath is the former manor house of West Peckham.

Wild and Feral
Pigs in culture
By owner
By nature
(key work)

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