Edward Hunt's Forest of Dean Miscellany

Fact, Fiction and Fantasy

St. Briavels

Birth of St. Briavels

Two Forest towns seem to have come into prominence. These were Newnham and St. Briavels. The latter name had been adopted by Little Lydney at some time between 1084 and 1131 when its castle was built, by the simple expedient of taking the first part from St. Briavelstowe, which commemorated the ancient cell of the saint, leaving that village to be known subsequently as "Stowe". The castle, built by Milo, Earl of Hereford, became the seat of the Constable who was Warden of Dean Forest, and as an administrative centre had an important, though unromantic, existence, courts being held there through the centuries.

  The text above is from:
                "Forest Story"
                by R.J. Mansfield
                publisher: the author 1964

Legends of St. Briavels

At St. Briavels, in the Forest of Dean, there is a legend that the wife of the governor had, at one time, to ride naked round the town once a year, and that King John, when he visited the district, liked the idea so much that he ordered all the young maidens of the town to do likewise. St. Briavels, today (Gibbings is writing in 1943 - EH), isn't what it was.

  The above text is from:
                "Coming Down the Wye"
                by Robert Gibbings
                publisher: E.P. Dutton 1943

 For other articles featuring St. Briavels,
          click on one of the links below:

          Hundred of St. Briavels
          St. Briavels
          St. Briavels Castle

          St. Briavels: Celtic Iron Mines
          St. Briavels: Domesday Book
          St. Briavelstowe
          St. Briavel's Stowe: Christianity in the Forest

Edward Hunt