Autumn colours in Wentwood


The great forest of middle Gwent.

Bronze Age burial mounds in the snow

Grid reference on route: around ST 443 948 - ST 390 929

This is all that remains of the great forest which divided the old kingdom of Gwent into two - Gwent Uwchcoed and Iscoed, Gwent Above and Below the Wood. There are bronze age burial mounds in the middle and a stone circle and alignment on Grey Hill to the south.

In the middle ages, the woods belonged to the lordship of Chepstow. They provided the lord with huntig preserves, and timber, fuel and pasturage for the tenants of nearby manors. The edges of the wood were nibbled away in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by land-hungry farmers. Ironically, what saved the woods was the iron industry. Iron furnaces are often blamed for destroying woods: in fact, they often preserved them, by making timber for charcoal a valuable commodity.

Much of Wentwood was finally felled during World War I to provide timber for the trenches. It was replanted by the Forestry Commission. Much of the wood is now conifers, but broad-leaved trees have been allowed to grow back. Recently the Woodland Trust has acquired much of Wentwood after a high-profile campaign amd plans a programme of conservation and restoration.

Places to wentwood


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