The ancient woodland that is now called Epping Forest once also covered the geographical areas of Hainault Forest and Waltham Forest, and was in fact called ‘The Forest of Essex’. It has had a rocky history, being for example a battleground over 19th-century enclosures—attempts by the lords in the forest to stop commoners exercising their common-law rights to exercise and feed their flocks. The lords were finally defeated, the forest remained common land, and the City of London purchased the manorial rights in the late 19th century (Read more on The Mother-hood).