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From wold.doc, incorporate as appropriate: A '''wold''' once meant a dense [[forest]]. Now that most forests, sadly, have been cut down, it may refer to open countryside or moorlands and especially the rolling uplands known in northern England as the [[Yorkshire Wolds]]. Wold is another form of the word [[weald]]. Both words descend from an ancient [[Indo-European Languages|Indo-European]] root meaning "forest" or "wild." It is closely related to the [[German language|German]] <i>Wald</i> and [[Old Norse language|Norse]] <i>völlr,</i> both of which descend from the same *Indo-European root and which are sister languages to [[English language|English]].

Um, isn't this all there already? Zack

Please don't split this article[edit]

I've removed the following suggestion: "This article should be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page." For a reason not to break down articles into meaningless shards, something any child could do, which scatters any context, look at the separate entry Wealden iron industry. Does it make any sense to the reader separated like that? Wouldn't it be better here, as part of the history of The Weald? Our job is to give some context and meaning to the subjects in the entries. Any subsection anywhere could be made into an entry by a thoughtless person. --Wetman 15:03, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Yes, I agree, it is much more plausible to have anything that has to do with the Weald, in one article. After all, the 'Weald' as such is the famous one in the Sussex and Kent area. Although there are other place-names with the name 'weald' as part of the name, they are not the ones the designation 'wealden' refers to. The 'Wealden iron industry' should be part of the article, too. A disambiguation article is too long-winded. Dieter Simon 23:50, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)

record 23%[edit]

I hope someone will explain what 23% forest coverage is a record for. Britain? England? Districts of what size? —JerryFriedman 18:57, 27 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Hi, Jerry,Yes, I remember this now. I found this in the UK National Parks website. [1]and the relevant para had this: "The Weald retains one of the highest levels of woodland cover in the country at over 23 per cent." Record is probably a little exaggerating, but not much. It was a matter of paraphrasing. Perhaps it should be changed. Dieter Simon 00:31, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Thanks, Dieter. It's great when somebody knows where information came from! I hope my change worked. —JerryFriedman 20:45, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Change looks good. Many thanks Dieter Simon 22:51, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)

70 miles?[edit]

I don't know how long the Weald really is, but I'm pretty sure it's a bit more than 70 miles. About twice as long, surely? Can someone who knows please check this? Tasiel 23:52, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Pevensey to the border of Dorset is no more than 90 miles as the crow flies, and that was the greatest historic extent of the Weald. Southern England really isn't that large a place. –EdC 23:49, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
I too found this section confusing. For example, what does "from Kent to Hampshire" mean? Does it include both, or is it the gap between them?
The Weald as now usually meant (from the North Downs near Folkestone to the Hampshire Downs near Petersfield) is about 85 miles long. If Andredswald included that and ran into the non-chalky parts of Dorset (say up to Purbeck) it might have been as much as 160 miles.
I think the section needs rewriting, but we need to know what the original sources actually say about Andredswald. Richard New Forest 22:12, 21 September 2007 (UTC)


How do you pronounce it? Weeld? Weld? Wald? --AW 22:12, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Like "wield/weeld". Dieter Simon 02:14, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Crawley has a traditional character?[edit]

Crawley down perhaps, but not Crawley. Citation: Go there for yourself. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:02, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Proposed change to History[edit]

The History section states:

Over the centuries, deforestation for the shipbuilding, charcoal, forest glass, and brickmaking industries has left the Low Weald with only remnants of that woodland cover.

This, according to Oliver Rackham, is the exact opposite of the case. The reason why a high level of forestation has been preserved in the Weald and the Forest of Dean was the usefulness of the woodland for the above industries, as opposed to clearance for farming. It is agriculture which has been the major threat to woodland in the Weald, as can be seen, for example on the heavily arable plains of the Rother. Once I have the correct citation from Rackham, I intend to edit this sector of the history, unless there is any objection --James Harvey —Preceding undated comment added 13:42, 10 September 2018 (UTC)

Proposed merge with Forest of Andred[edit]

The content of that article really belongs here (most of it's here already). Please see discussion in Talk:Forest of Andred. --Richard New Forest (talk) 20:46, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

No negative comments for two weeks, so proposal implemented, and Forest of Andred redirected here. Discussion from Forest of Andred copied below. --Richard New Forest (talk) 22:04, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Almost the whole of the current content of this article is in Weald. There is not enough material to justify its own article – is there ever going to be? They are really another name for the same thing. I suggest that "Andredswald" and "Forest of Andred" are included as alternative headwords in the first para of Weald, and the history section of that article is updated to include anything not already there. --Richard New Forest (talk) 20:45, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

I do agree. I stumbled on this page categorised under Hills of Surrey, which is of limited relevance. These names are already covered in the history section of Weald. --Charles (talk) 09:57, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Notes on rewrite[edit]

These are the notes I jotted down as I checked through the article, to show why I changed it in the manner I did.

The article was moved from High Weald to Weald, and from High Weald AONB but I can find no discussion as to why? In any case the article as originally written didn't IMO talk enough about the contrast between the two distinct parts of the Weald. It certainly should make the point in the introduction that one is sandstone, the other clays - this makes a fundamental difference: you cannot link the two parts together as this article does. Both maps give wrong impressions - my copy of the Geological Survey map is quite clear as to where it is.

Why is the article not called ‘’The’’ Weald?

I have moved all the notes about its Etymology into one section, referring to the Tenterden notes as well.

The Natural England website here says it quite succinctly, mentioning Ashdown Forest in passing, but making the point that The essential character of the High Weald was established by the 14th century and has survived major historical events, and social and technological changes. This fundamental and largely unchanging character is the essence of the "natural beauty" of the AONB and this is not mentioned in the geography section of this article which, with its talk of "commuters" (who says?) and "golf courses" make it sound like Milton Keynes! The communications sentences talk of motorways (which actually use the more northerly Vale of Homesdale, the narrow strip between the Weald and the North Downs) and railways (which don't link the Weald with London specifically). As to the towns mentioned - names thrown out without recourse to the map included in the article - Sevenoaks, Guildford, Ashford and Maidstone are all in the Vale of Homesdale; whilst Hastings and Rye should be included. Surrey Hills AONB is not part of the The Weald: read its Wiki article (“adjoins” is what it says)

River capture is mentioned without giving examples. I would hazard a supposition that this may not happen on the Weald, where the rocks are hardest. It certainly happens on the softer Greensand Ridge to the north - see the rivers Len and Stour at Lenham, for instance . Rivers Darent (Greensand Ridge) & Mole (Surrey Hills: not part of the Weald) do not rise in the Weald and in reality many of the others' headwaters do not either: their tributaries might well, and I have covered that.

There is a suggestion that the twin articles Wealden iron industry/Wealden cloth industry should be incorporated here. The former is quite lengthy, and there is more to say, I am sure, The latter isn’t so detailed but it can in all probability be brought up to the other one in its scope. Hundreds of people were involved in both industries, and very many of what are now villages evolved because of them. This main article might well be amended to summarise them more comprehensively, but IMO they should remain separate.

Removed Wells & Woolf - no ref to Weald in their lives & Cold Comfort Farm ref ditto Peter Shearan (talk) 11:16, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Mostly looks fine to me, but shouldn't it be Vale of Holmesdale? (see my comments at Talk:Vale of Homesdale) Pterre (talk) 21:10, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Removed mention of the shipyards on the Thames and Medway as shipbuilding was all along the channel coast as well, e.g. the third Earl of Egremont's brigantine "Egremont" was built at Littlehampton. --Charles (talk) 21:43, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Various comments on above.
River capture does not happen only on soft rocks, and the Weald is stuffed with examples in almost every catchment. I'll put some in when some of the other points have been dealt with.
I think that the Gault (Vale of Holmesdale etc) is part of the Weald – that the Weald is everything between the North and South Downs (Natural England says the same on their Surrey Hills AONB description page). Where does the idea come from that it is not, and is there a ref for it? So in my understanding, Guildford, Dorking, Ashford etc are all in the Weald. (There can surely be no logical reason to separate out one particular clay bed, just because it happens to be near the Chalk?) There is surely no doubt that the Greensand is in the Weald? Incidentally, Natural England's Natural Areas should not be allowed to confuse the issue (for example, the Greensand and Romney Marsh NAs are separated out from the rest of the Low Weald). Natural Areas are drawn to be convenient in both landscape and wildlife terms, not always to agree with widely accepted geographical boundaries.
It is not correct to say that the High Weald is sandstone and the Low Weald clay. For one thing, the Greensand is Low Weald, and that's as pure as sandstone can be – there are also other sandstones lower down in the Low Weald sequences. For another, the High Weald sands also have layers of clay. The way I've always thought of it is that the High Weald is sandstone and clay, and the Low Weald is clay and sandstone...
Surrey Hills AONB does run well into the Weald: it includes most of the western Weald from Haslemere to Dorking (see click on "Your Environment", tick the box for AONBs, then Display Selected Layers, then click on the map for information on the displayed polygons. Also see Natural England page on the AONB, linked above). I guess that's the reason for its name, rather than the "North Downs" AONB. Though in fact the South Downs AONB meets it from the south too.
I agree that the Wealden industry articles should stay separate. There might even be a need for more broken-out articles one day, for example on history, wildlife, geology etc. --Richard New Forest (talk) 14:16, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

The Weald

A page about the Weald should not be under Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England - that would only apply to the High Weald. As the High Weald AONB, we are just about to produce a page on the High Weald AONB which will be catergorised under AONBS in England as the other are, ie Surrey Hills. I suggest the page on the Weald should be moved elsewhere. The Weald as a whole is not an area of outstanding natural beauty. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:35, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Burgess Hill[edit]

I was just looking for some clarification that Burgess Hill was situated on the Weald; I have always believed this to be the case, and therefore it should go alongside other major Wealden settlements, being larger than Crowborough, and of a similar size to Haywards Heath?

Responses greatly appreciated,

thanks. (talk) 15:42, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

There seems to be no disagreements, then. (talk) 22:09, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it is in the Weald. In fact if you look at the OS 1:250,000 map, there's a "Low Weald" label just next to Burgess Hill. Go to, search on Burgess Hill, select the fourth-largest map scale, then pan east a bit. --Richard New Forest (talk) 14:16, 28 April 2008 (UTC)


During the Medieval period, wasn't the Weald the centre of some sort of resistance movement led by a "Willikin of the Weald"?AT Kunene (talk) 10:02, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

I live in the Weald and have never heard of such a legend.--Charles (talk) 10:23, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
see William of Cassingham Putney Bridge (talk) 14:45, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

Green tickY (belatedly) added ~dom Kaos~ (talk) 15:47, 18 May 2017 (UTC)