Following Thomas Becket’s murder in 1170, in addition to great monasteries and the presence of the English Church’s senior cleric, Canterbury now had a saint! The town became a major centre of pilgrimage. Several “hospitals” were established to provide hospitality for all these folk.
Large numbers of faggots were required for cooking purposes, meat and fish were preserved using salt and barrels were used for storage by the catering industry. Salt was made by evaporating brine at Seasalter and this needed huge quantities of fuel. Travel was rough, necessitating running repairs to horses, carts, footwear and clothing. Consequently smiths were supplied with charcoal for their forges and tanners with cartloads of oak-bark for their leather making. All this stretched the resources of the woodland infrastructure.
With thanks to the Blean Heritage and Community Group