On a less known version, Queen Isabel, to whom her husband D. Dinis had given this lands, is presented as the main responsible for its soaring, as soon as she knew of a special pine specie that could easily grow on sandy soil.
However, it is to King Dinis, the Farmer (1261-1325) that is given the responsibility of this area’s sowing, development and arrangement. Therefore, this enormous area of forest is still known as the King’s Pine Forest.
Someone named it as the “Greatest Portuguese Monument” due to its important role in local and national development, across the years.
Since the beginning this pine forest had the important function to hold sand and salt that invaded fertile lands on interior, allowing, this way, farming. In the first early centuries of nationality the forest offered wood for ship building that would be used for development of fishing, for maritime trade and later on maritime expansion. During the Philippine period (1580-1640) the forest’s limits were defined.
In the eighteen century new regulations were created in order to increase the development, effective good use and defense of Leiria’s wood. As consequence raw materials were supplied to the famous glass factory of Marinha Grande (near city), founded by William Stephens.
On the nineteen century, the forest strongly decayed due, either, to the French Invasions and big fires in 1806, 1814, 1818, 1824.
In 1867 a study of Bernardino Barros Gomes divided the forest into rectangles in order to achieve a better management of it.
In 1980 another study allowed to calculate the total area of the Forest – more than 11000 hectares.