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Flanked by the chalk ridges of the North and South Downs, the bowl of the Weald is a land where the pace of life is once again softened by its leafy environment.

For centuries it was sparsely populated, an inhospitable forest known as Anderida's Weald, entered only in the summer months by cattle drovers and swineherds who were brave enough to avoid the bandits who used its thick canopy to evade the law of the time.

Less suitable for farming than the Downs, due to its low-fertility sandstone ridges and sticky clay valleys, it was a place that was largely overlooked other than by those seeking its ironstone deposits. Iron making was a small-scale occupation until Tudor times, when the introduction of the blast furnace turned the area from green to black. The forest was cut and the smoke plumes from hundreds of stone towers rose above the close-shorn coppices creating an environment that could have inspired Tolkein in his imaginings of Mordor.

In the eighteenth century, the introduction of hotter-burning coal to the smelting process in the Midlands drained the Weald of its iron works and decade-by-decade the Wealden copses returned to mature forest.

For your occasion we draw inspiration from the pre-industrial activities that would have taken place at the location of your event, at a time when the sights, sounds and smells would have been those provided by nature.

Forest of Anderida.jpg
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