Gascony was one of the ancient dukedoms of southwest France. Its boundaries are not clearly defined, however it is generally accepted as being the area southeast of Bordeaux, with the département of Gers (in the Midi-Pyrénées region) as its centrepoint.
Click here to read more about horses in the Middle Ages.
In the Christian calendar, Whitsuntide (also known as Pentecost) is celebrated 50 days after Easter Sunday to commemorate the Holy Spirit descending on the disciples of Christ (Acts of the Apostles 2:1-31). It is said that in some parts of Britain, Whitsun celebrations have some of the characteristics of those of Beltane, the Celtic festival held on May 1st to mark the beginning of Summer.
The Forest of Dean is one of the surviving ancient woodlands of England, situated north of the River Severn in the western part of Gloucestershire.
Sparrowhawks are small birds of prey of the genus Accipeter. Their traditional hunting grounds are confined spaces such as woodland. In Medieval times they were used in falconry, the keeping and training of birds of prey (especially falcons) to hunt gamebirds. Both men and women hunted with hawks; the sparrowhawk, because of its small size, is said to have been a popular choice for women.