Digging the Demense, King John’s Palace, Clipstone.

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Community Archaeology at King John’s Palace, Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, 2013

Community Archaeology Nottinghamshire Mercian Archaeological Services King John's Palace Sherwood Forest


Recent work at King John’s Palace, Clipstone, identified a geophysical anomaly (Gaunt 2011) which was demonstrated by excavation to have been constructed in the 13th – 14th century and which probably formed the western boundary of the palace complex at this time (Gaunt and Wright et al 2013). The boundary is depicted on a 17th century map with the land to the northeast marked as “Manor Garth” and that to the southwest as “Waterfield” (1630 map by William Senior (NAO, CS/1/S)).

As part of the Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project, local volunteers supervised by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC excavated six 1m square test pits to the west of the boundary ditch, within the northern part of Waterfield, over four days in August 2013. The purpose of the investigation was to determine if there was any difference in the nature and character of archaeological deposits to the southwest of the boundary ditch and those encountered in previous interventions to the northeast, in Manor Garth. Due to the light sandy soils and the approximate 10m decrease in elevation from west to east of the field, the test pits were additionally intended to assess the potential for survival of archaeological deposits at the top, middle and near the bottom of the slope.

As part of the Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project, Mercian and a large number of volunteers dug a series of test pits in Castlefield, King’s Clipstone, to further establish the extent of the Medieval Palace.

The Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project page

“Digging the Demense”, Community Archaeology Test Pitting Project, at Waterfield Farm, King’s Clipstone, Nottinghamshire. Interim Report.


David Budge

Interim Report:

Archaeology volunteers volunteering, Community Archaeology in Sherwood Forest
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