Shotover House
The Foresters

There is a reference to the ‘Great estate of Beckley’ owned by King Alfred. He left the area to his kinsman Ossuth but by 1004 ‘Hedington’ was again recorded as a royal manor. The Domesday Book records that Rainald the King’s Forester held 4.5 hides (about 550 acres) of Oxfordshire forest including Shotover and Stowood for which he paid the king ten pounds each year.

Several families held the office of forester, most notably the family of Mimekan. The forester or ranger is believed to have lived in a lodge, which stood on or near the site of the present Shotover House. In 1308 Philip Mimekan sold the bailiwick of the Forest of Shotover to Sir John de Handlo, Lord of Borstall, who was already the Chief Forester of Bernwood. Sir John died in 1346 and the office of forester then passed down through several families by descent and marriage.
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