Pipley Wood is classed as ancient woodland; it has been forested since at least 1600, the time of the first Ordnance Survey map. Walking the wood, you can still see old field boundary banks and ditches, some with ancient trees from old hedgerows. There is very little written history; references to the parish simply say that the area is 'mostly grazing'.
There is, nevertheless, a great deal of history in the area. There are Roman remains very close to the wood, including those of a fort to the south west and a villa to the east. Lansdown was the site of an important Civil War battle and documents record that the soldiers would come to North Stoke for respite from the battle.
The Sir Alexander Lawrence Woodland Trust, established by Sir John Lawrence of Brockham End in 1985 in memory of his father, promotes the permanent preservation and improvement of the wood for the benefit of the public and especially the inhabitants of the Parish of North Stoke and the village of Upton Cheyney. The woodlands are managed by the Pipley Wood Committee with the help of local volunteers and friends.