Rutland Record 31 – Rutland’s Medieval Woodland, and Education in early Victorian Rutland This year’s issue of Rutland Record, the Rutland Local History & Record Society’s annual publication, has just appeared and contains two main articles of interest to anyone fascinated in Rutland’s varied past. The first is a detailed study by Tony Squires, an expert on the historic woodlands of the east Midlands, of the medieval woodlands of Rutland. After introducing the sources available, from Domesday Book onwards, Tony gives details of the woods he has been able to verify in each parish in the county, greatly aided by John Speed’s early seventeenth century county map. These include substantial historic woodlands that survive today, even if in altered form, like Burley Great Wood, and others that have been clear-felled and planted with conifers such as Addah Wood in Clipsham. Yet others, like Newhall Wood in Pickworth, are now renowned for the importance of their flora and have been designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Tony’s article shows how much woodland, including some which represents ancient or semi-natural woodland, in fact exists in the county: and also points to the need for further research into how these woods have changed over the centuries. The second main article covers an entirely different subject. In the first of two articles about early Victorian Rutland, Ian Ryder, the Society’s honorary treasurer, looks at the state of education in the county in the 1830s. Following earlier studies of education in the great industrial conurbations of Manchester and Liverpool, in 1838 the Manchester Statistical Society selected agricultural Rutland as the subject of a contrasting study. Now Ian interprets the Manchester society’s findings, which detailed the numbers of children attending school and the types of school available – from dame schools to charity schools, Sunday schools and ‘superior private and boarding’ schools. The Manchester Society’s report is reproduced in its entirety, complete with tables setting out the numbers of pupils and schools, the subjects taught, and the conditions in which the classes were held, with a separate section relating to Sunday schools. What may come as a surprise are the numbers of schools involved and of children attending – what may be less surprising is that eleven of the 50 dame schools were described as ‘disorderly’! The nineteenth century was an era of enormous social change, with the growth of education one of its key developments; Ian’s article places Rutland firmly into context. As usual, the issue concludes with notes on a wide range of archaeological and historical work, including building surveys, in Rutland during the previous year, with reports from the museums, record offices and societies whose interests and responsibilities cover the county’s heritage. Amongst the results is the intriguing possibility that evidence for a Roman vineyard has been found at Thistleton. Rutland Record 31 is published in the context of continuing cuts to public funding and very real threats to the protection of our heritage offered by existing legislation and guidelines governing the treatment of planning applications. In the Editorial, the Society draws attention to nation-wide concerns about the implications of the draft National Planning Policy Framework, and the need for continued vigilance to ensure that our museums, libraries and record offices can continue to carry out the functions for which they were established. An Index to issues 11-20 of Rutland Record¬ is published at the same time, and distributed free to members. Copies of the new publication can be obtained as usual from the Rutland Local History & Record Society at the Rutland County Museum for £4.00 (plus £1.25 p&p), via local bookshops, or on-line via ISBN-13: 978-0-907464-46-4. The Index to Rutland Record 11-20 is available for £2.50 (plus £1.20 p&p) from the same sources. For further information, please contact: Tim Clough, Honorary Editor, RLHRS, Rutland County Museum, Catmose Street, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6HW, or tel 01572 722316, or e-mail
Press Release November 2011 Researching Rutland	Registered Charity No 700273 Rutland Local History & Record Society