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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 76 - 1961  page 207

Miscellaneous Notes


   This is so common a place name that it occurs eight times on the tithe map of a single parish in Kent, namely, Rolvenden and five times at Yalding.
   The Oxford English Dictionary gives the accepted meaning:
"FORESTALL, sub. — — — 2. Something situated in front; esp. the space in front of a farm house, or the way leading to it. dialect 1661." This meaning is more or less closely echoed by other dictionaries.
   It is however a word of which the precise meaning seems to have changed with the passage of years.
   It appears in the A.S. Dict. (Bosworth & Toiler) only in reference to the crime of forestalling, i.e., of assault, which suggests that the Forestall had rather a bad name.
   In 1197 a fine includes "FORESTALLUM QUOD EST ANTE PORTAM CURIE" (the forestall which is before the door of the Court), C.K., IV, 20.
   Another fine, of 1236, gives a hint of its nature in the  words "in pastura de FORESTAL ante magnam portam curie de BEREFRESTON"(in pasture of the forestall before the great gate of the Court of Barfreston).

   To some the word "stall" may call to mind a theatre but not very long ago it would have seemed to indicate a cattle-stall and, perhaps, particularly a horse-stall. Its basic meaning is undoubtedly, "a standing place ". To cut short a tedious story, for which detailed support might be impossible to obtain, we can say at once that the forestall of a manor house was the rough pasture on which the horses of visitors could be tethered or let out while their owners were entertained within.
   Behind the forestall there was often a "HOMESTALL" suitable for the children’s pony and the valued mount of the Lord of the Manor.
   For chapmen and tenants of the manor the lesser amenity of the forestall would suffice.
   From an early date houses were built not on but around the forestall and may well have been those of bailiffs, stewards, and the like. Now and again a smithy might appear, to the great advantage of visitors, and the Church and Rectory were both likely to be approached via the manor forestall. In 1213 we meet with Baldwin de FORSTALLE (Register of St. Gregory) and Symon de LA FORESTALLE lived at Chartham about the same time (Register E. Christ Church). In fact,

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