Cranborne Chase


Where is it? What is it? Even some of the people who live and work in this delightful part of southern England do not know the answers. Hear about the Norman connections, King John’s favourite hunting grounds, and the great families and abbeys who owned the land but not the hunting rights. The penalties for infringing the forest laws or for poaching were harsh; farming your own land made almost impossible by deer which you were powerless to deter. Changes eventually took place as the the Lords of the Chase sold their rights. By 1880, when Augustus Pitt-Rivers inherited the Rushmore Estate (against all expectation), he was able to indulge his great interest in archaeology, revealing and recording many of the secrets of the Chase lands.

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