The Official Research at King John’s Palace

The Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project Logo


King John’s Palace and King’s Clipstone

The Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project
Home About us Services Testimonials Projects Publications Staff Contact 
Sherwood Forest History

Click on the image below to see the project blog:

Robin Hood Town Tours Discover King John's Palace Sherwood Forest people's millions Discover King John's Palace free excavation

The Sherwood Forest Archaeology project focuses heavily on the site of King John’s Palace (previously known as the King’s Houses) in Clipstone with 14 projects having taken place there over the last 3 years, and is the official research at the site.

The site is at the heart of the Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project, reflecting the fact that it was once the Royal Heart of Sherwood Forest.





The Palace was visited by all 8 kings from Henry II to Richard II, with King John possibly holding parliament there in the early 13th century and Edward I holding Parliament there in 1290.

Recent Archaeological work - much of it by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC - has helped to reveal the size and importance of the site. Andy Gaunt’s past work has also interpreted the surrounding lordship as a ‘designed’ medieval romantic hunting landscape similar to those depicted in contemporary poems such as Gawain and the Green Knight.

The palace was sat at the heart of medieval Sherwood Forest and provided amenities for hunting, royal retreat, and the entertaining of foreign royalty and important members of society, with Richard I having once met William the Lion King of Scotland there…

Mercian Archaeological Services CIC via The Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project seek not only to research and understand the site, but to do so with the community, and to raise the profile of the site so that it is once again recognised as the Heart of Medieval Sherwood Forest, around the world!



King John's Palace - Royal Heart of Sherwood Forest

Things to see on the Official Archaeology and History of King John’s Palace web page:


About King John’s Palace- Archaeological and Historical Background:

What do we know about the site? What we do know and what we don’t know about Clipstone…

Learn about some of the recent findings and a critique of past work and theories… Click above to find out!


The designed medieval landscape of Clipstone and Arthurian romance:

Discover the designed royal romantic hunting landscape of Clipstone, and the links to the Gawain and the Green Knight poem and the landscape of Clipstone; and how it was first interpreted by Andy Gaunt back in 2011.

See how Gaunt undertook the first reconstruction of the medieval landscape of Clipstone in 2011 and how he used the 1630 William Senior map and historic documents, as well as map regression, infra-red data, geophysical survey and landscape analysis to interpret the landscape for the first time.


List of Archaeological  projects at the site:

Who has actually been working on the site of King John’s Palace and what did they find?

2013-present, Mercian Archaeological Services CIC and The Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project at King John’s Palace

2009 - 2013, Start of modern research projects

1991 - 2009, Consolidation of the ruin

1956, Earlier Works


Historical Timeline for the medieval Kings Houses at Clipstone:

As part of the Archaeological And Historical background to Clipstone- browse through a timeline of the historical records for the palace and village stretching back through the entire medieval period.


3D models of the palace and finds: View the latest 3D models and animations from Mercian’s work at Clipstone


Interpretation panels, tours and information leaflets: View the latest information panels and outreach from around the palace and landscape from the comfort of your armchair.  

Info 4 Groups Talks and Tours Experience Days Heritage Bus Tours Field Schools Sherwood Forest Notts 1000 Shop

Visitors since 7th November 2013

Mercian Archaeological Services CIC

Community Archaeology in the East Midlands,

 Community Archaeology Nottinghamshire, Excavation, Research, Volunteering, Community

    Archaeology Derbyshire, Training, Social, Learning, Community Archaeology Leicestershire,

    Heritage, Involvement, Belonging, Knowledge sharing, Community Archaeology Lincolnshire,

    Topographic Survey, Talks and Presentations, Outreach, Archaeology Projects , Open

    Days, Schools, Finds Processing, Day Schools, Field Schools, Young People, Archaeology

    and History of Sherwood Forest, Pottery Research, Medieval, Roman, Prehistoric, Community

    Interest Company, Community Archaeology Nottinghamshire.

© Mercian Archaeological Services CIC 2013.                           Registered Business No. 08347842.                                All Rights Reserved.

Community Archaeology in Nottinghamshire

Community Archaeology in Derbyshire

Community Archaeology in Leicestershire

Community Archaeology East Midlands

Community Archaeology in Lincolnshire

The Official Research

   

Award Winners 2016

for "Engaging people in the heritage, history & archaeology of Sherwood Forest".

Official Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project T-Shirt for just £9.99 +p&p

Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project T-Shirt Sherwood Forest Archaeoogy Project Mug

Official Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project Coffee Mug for just £8.50 +p&p


World-wide Robin Hood Society

Robin Hood Society Feather in Your Cap Award 2016


 Project page links:

-------------------------------

 Project Home page

-------------------------------

 About the Project

-------------------------------

 Funding the Project

-------------------------------

 Project Partner Organisations

-------------------------------

 Project Sponsors

-------------------------------

 Robin Hood Challenges

-------------------------------

 Fieldwork

-------------------------------

 Research

-------------------------------

 Finds Processing

-------------------------------

 Bus Tours - Outreach

-------------------------------

 King John’s Palace

-------------------------------

 Robin Hood’s Village

-------------------------------

 Thynghowe

-------------------------------

 Battle of Hatfield

-------------------------------

 St Edwin’s Chapel

-------------------------------

 Clipstone Village Dig

-------------------------------

 Medieval Sherwood Map

-------------------------------

 Media

-------------------------------

 Links page

-------------------------------

 About Sherwood Forest

-------------------------------

 Forest Law

-------------------------------

 Why Sherwood Forest?

-------------------------------

 Boundaries of Sherwood

-------------------------------

 Landscape of Sherwood

-------------------------------

 Outlaws & Villains

-------------------------------

 Stories from the Forest

-------------------------------

 Bibliography

-------------------------------




Mercian Archaeological Services Community Archaeology


About King John’s Palace and Clipstone- archaeological and historical background


 Prehistoric to Early Medieval



Evidence of minor prehistoric activity has been found on the site. During excavations in 2012, a flint flake was found. The flake dated to sometime from the Mesolithic to Bronze Age. The flake is not a formal tool and is most likely to be debitage (waste). This suggests that people may have undertaken some form of activity in the vicinity during the prehistoric period. The type of activity is unknown but the presence of this piece of flint suggests it might have included flint knapping (Budge in Gaunt et al 2015).

In 2014 residual finds from excavation by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC included a “few pieces of worked flint from a blade producing industry of probable later Mesolithic or early Neolithic date” (Budge 2014a).

Excavation in 2015 by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC discovered a few knapped flint artefacts. These showed “no obvious concentrations or patterns in their distribution and appear to represent no more than a background scatter, indicating minor prehistoric activity in the area but certainly not suggesting occupation or any kind of intense activity on the site. There were no tools or diagnostic pieces and a general date range of Mesolithic to Bronze Age is likely. Previous archaeological finds of blade-like flakes with abraded platforms suggest probable Mesolithic or early Neolithic presence in the area” (Budge 2015).

A Bronze Age spearhead (Nottinghamshire Historic Environment Record, 5965) and an arrowhead (Nottinghamshire Historic Environment Record, 5909) have been found in the parish (Gaunt 2011).

The National Mapping Project data as provided by English Heritage shows a number of cropmarks recorded from aerial photography in the northern quarter of Clipstone parish. Typologically, and from their orientation, it is possible that these are part of the brick-work plan field system from the late Iron Age to Romano-British periods, which stretches across the Sherwood Sandstones (Garton 2008).

A test pit excavated by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC towards the highest part of Castle Field yielded a significant number of Pot-Boiler stones (fire cracked pebbles) in all contexts, suggesting proximity to an activity focus (Budge 2013).

The 2015 excavations by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC also found large quantities of Pot-Boiler stones. “The pot boiler distribution data appears to suggest clustering in a number of areas, most particularly the southern part of the area investigated… This broadly correlates with the highest point of topography locally. Without the application of scientific techniques pot boilers can only be dated by their association with other, chronologically diagnostic, artefacts. The patterning of their distribution is broadly similar to the distribution of Roman pottery, but the sample size of the latter artefact class is small and more work would be required to confirm or deny this association and, by implication, this dating.” (Budge 2015).

A number of Roman coins are listed on the Historic Environment Record for the Clipstone parish (Gaunt 2011). Residual Roman Pottery sherds have been found around Castle Field in various excavations (Rahtz 1960; Wessex 2011; Gaunt et al 2015) including those by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC (Budge 2013; Budge 2014a; Budge 2015; Budge 2016 in press). Excavations in 2014 by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC has extended the dating of Roman occupation by up to a hundred years. These excavations 100m southeast of the standing ruin discovered residual Roman pottery “including the rim of a bead and flange bowl (sensu Darling and Precious 2014) of mid 3rd to 4th century date, extending the known chronology of Roman Activity on the site beyond the second century” (Budge 2014a).

Excavation in 2014 of a linear feature (discovered by Geophysical Survey (Gaunt 2014; 2017)), revealed “a ditch with relatively steep, flaring sides in the upper part of it’s profile narrowing to an almost vertical sided slot towards the base. Aside from a few pot boiler stones its extensively leached main fill was devoid of finds” (Budge 2014a). This ditch cut by an overlying later ditch. A residual sherd of Stamford ware pottery was found in the fill. This sherd “should not post-date 1130 (Jane Young pers. comm.)… The ditch appeared to  form an enclosure of unknown date, pre-dating the medieval palace and perhaps enclosing an area down to Vicar Water to the east. The presence of pre-palace pottery in the vicinity of this enclosure (Saxo-Norman Stamford Ware…, and a casual find by the landowner of late Saxon Early Stamford Ware from within the putative enclosure) is notable” (Budge 2014a).

Prior to the recent work by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC only a single piece of Saxon pottery representing a “casual find by the landowner” had ever been found in Clipstone.

Budge has recently pointed out that references by other writers “to Saxon Pottery found at the palace derive from the the mis-identification of 13th -15th century Potterhanworth ware as “Saxon Shelly Ware”” (Budge 2014a).

In his recent publication Wright suggests that “Late Saxon Shelley-ware pottery was recorded… it is likely that these represent a background scatter of material associated with night-soil manuring of open fields” (Wright 2016, 21). This suggestion is wrong and must be challenged robustly. These finds are not Late Saxon, they are 13th-14th century in date and do not indicate Late Saxon manuring.

However recent excavations by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC in Castle Field in 2014, 2015 and 2016 have uncovered large quantities of Saxon pottery covering Early Saxon, Middle Saxon, Late Saxon, and Saxo-Norman dates.  These include “a number of sherds of early to middle Saxon pottery, including a hand made jar rim. Jane Young, who kindly examined these sherds along with the Saxon pottery from the Discover King John's Palace project (Budge 2015), noted that the range of fabrics and wide dating span of the material suggest it is more likely to come from occupation than isolated and short term activities” (Budge 2016, in press).

These discoveries are significant in understanding the earlier occupation and uses of the pre-palace site, and also for settlement development in the region.
 

Domesday Book shows that in 1066 the manor had two owners Osbern and Wulfsi (see below).

The excavations by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC in both the village (Budge and Gaunt 2013), in Castle Field (Budge & Gaunt 2013; Budge 2013; 2014a; 2015; 2016) are beginning to build up a picture of occupation in the Saxon period that was previously unknown.


Medieval


The Domesday Book of 1086 refers to “Clipestune” with the following entry:


“Osbern and Wulfsi had 1 c.[carucate] of land taxable. Land for 2 ploughs. Roger has 1 1/2 ploughs in lordship and 12 villagers and 3 smallholders who have 3 1/2 ploughs.
1 mill, 3s [shillings]; woodland pasture in places, 1 league long and 1 wide.
Value before 1066, 60s; now 40s” (Morris 1977).

The name Clipstone means “Klyppr’s Farm”, with the derivation of the first element being from the old Scandinavian personal name “Klyppr”, and the second element from Anglo-Saxon word for farm or hamlet “tun”. The settlement has been recorded variously in the medieval period as Clipestune in 1086, Clippeston(a) in 1088, Clipstona in 1173, and also in reltaio to it’s royal status: Kyngesclipston in 1290, Kingesclipston in 1315, and also Kyngisclipston in 1474 (Gover et al 1940).



In the Medieval period the lordship of Clipstone and the royal palace there were located at the heart of medieval Sherwood Forest. This was the reason for the importance of the site and its subsequent expansion and development (Gaunt 2011).


“In Medieval times a forest was a defined geographic area subject to forest law. Forest law was brought to England by the Normans. The law protected beasts of the chase; primarily deer, for the king. It also protected the woodland that formed their habitat. Forest Law was enforced over the land regardless of who owned it (Turner 1901). In the 13th century the forest stretched from the River Trent in the south to the River Meden in the north and from Wellow in the east to Sutton-in-Ashfield in the west (Crook 1979), in the 12th century it may have covered all of Nottinghamshire north and west of the Trent (Holt 1992). A reference to the forest in Nottinghamshire made in 1155/6 early in the reign of Henry II (1154-1189) points to there being a forest in the reign of Henry I (1100-1135) (Crook 1994), however references to a dispute over keepership of the forest in the early 13th century suggest a forest in Nottinghamshire dating back to the reign of William I (Crook 1980). Sherwood Forest or at least a forest in Nottinghamshire was therefore well established by time of Henry II. The lordship of Clipstone passed from Roger de Busli, owner at Domesday in 1086 (Morris 1977) into crown hands in the early 12th century (Throsby 1796), and development of the royal hunting lodge was begun in 1164-7 (Crook 1976). Prior to this time the king mainly stayed in the nearby royal manor of Mansfield (Crook 1984), but from the reign of Henry II Clipstone became the main focus of royal retreat, politics and hunting in the forest. The palace was chosen as a meeting place between Richard I (the Lionheart) and William I (the Lion) of Scotland (Rahtz & Colvin 1960), and was the scene of a parliament held there in 1290 by Edward I (Crook 1976). As would be expected of a site of such importance, the hunting lodge or palace was subject to much building and repair during the period of its popularity from the reign of Henry II to the reign of Richard II.” (Gaunt 2011, pp7-8).


Excavations in Castle Field by Philip Rahtz in 1956; Trent and Peak Archaeology Trust in 1991; Wessex Archaeology 2011; Gaunt, Wright, Crossley and Budge in 2012; and Mercian Archaeological Services CIC in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, have uncovered large amounts of archaeology dating from across the period of the medieval palace.


The earliest of these excavations was by Rahtz in 1956. Notable finds include a carved “Monster head” from the 12th century (Rahtz 1960), which suggests at least one stone building from this period.


In 1176-80 up to £500 was spent on works at Clipstone which included the building of a chamber and a chapel, construction of a fishpond, and the formation of a deer-park (Colvin, Brown & Taylor 1963 Vol II  p918).


What form these buildings took is currently not known; and it should be pointed out that at the current time the date of construction of the standing ruin is not known.


Wright is of the opinion that the extant building dates from the 12th century (Wright 2016). He suggests that the standing ruin at Clipstone was built by Henry II as a replica of the St. Mary’s Guildhall (in the suburb of Wigford) in Lincoln (Wright 2016 pp30-37). The comparison to the St Mary’s Guildhall seems to emanate almost entirely from the superficial examination of the position of two buttresses flanking a central doorway, and the near comparable size of the West Range at St. Mary’s (Wright 2016 p34).


There are a number of elements of this interpretation that are worthy of discussion. Firstly; it is not definite that the gap in the standing ruin at King Johns Palace is the original main entrance to the building. There was possibly a doorway on the northeastern elevation of the building according to Rahtz: “The overhanging masonry on the N.E wall suggests another doorway in the centre of this end” (Rahtz 1906 p 34)  that could also possibly have been the entrance. The gap is also not central to the facade formed by the standing remains. The full dimensions of the building at Clipstone of which the standing ruin forms a part is also not certain. It is not certain that the projections on either side of the central opening were buttresses. Rahtz refers to them as such, but his excavations suggest that one of the buttresses may have actually extended further to the northwest than the other (Rahtz 1960, Fig 2 p27). With relation to the central overhang which he calls “F2” he states “F2 is probably a doorway about 6 feet wide, placed S.W of centre, and has flanking buttresses on its outer (N.W.) side, which show traces of projecting ashlar at foundation and higher levels; the foundation is however continuous just outside the line of the presumed outer limit of the buttresses” (Rahtz 1960 p 34). This probable extension of one of the buttresses further than the other suggests that it could at least possibly have been a wall projecting from the building, or at the very least it removes absolute certainty from any interpretation of their function.


The Francis Grose illustration from 1771 shows two adjacent openings or overhangs on the north side of the central gap. By the time of Raht’z excavations this had become one “overhang” due to the recent collapse of the section dividing the two parts. As a result Rahtz seems to have treated the overhand as a single entity, and interpreted this northeastern “overhang” as a window. Sheppard (1991) discovered a doorway to the north of the central gap, of the ruin at Clipstone, and suggested that there was also a further window to the north of it on the northwestern frontage of the ruin, which explains the second overhang on the Grose picture. Wright accepts the theory of a doorway suggested by Sheppard, but makes no mention of Sheppard’s suggestion of a window to the north of it (Wright 2016 p35).


Rahtz interpreted a window occupying the southwestern gap in the current ruin which he referred to as “F3”: “F3 is a small window which retains two dressed faces on its inner side, splaying from 3 feet externally to 5 feet internally. The ashlar has a straight edge on the S.W. side of this window” (Rahtz 1960 p34). This interpretation is supported by evidence in photographic plate 4A (Rahtz 1960). Contrary to the evidence given by Rahtz; Wright states this was a doorway and refers to an antiquarian drawing by Francis Grose from 1772 (Wright 2016) which shows the same feature as that photographed by Rahtz, but in less detail.


Rahtz also detected and interpreted walls extending northwestwards from the northeast end of the ruin which may have been a tower (Rahtz 1960, p27). If contemporary this would have masked the front of the building from view at this end. The date of neither structure is known so their relationship cannot be proved or disproved. However no such extension to the frontage is visible at Lincoln St. Mary’s Guildhall, which unlike the ruin at Clipstone; actually occupies a road-side location.


In contrast the frontage of the Guildhall in Lincoln consists of a near central; moulded carriageway arch with segmental pointed inner arch, flanked by single buttresses (Stocker 1991) which leads through the west wing of the building, from the road immediately outside the building to the west; into a courtyard to the rear. The frontage is divided into five bays separated by shallow buttresses (Stocker 1991). If the two structures were superimposed, the door recorded by Sheppard at Clipstone would place it directly in line with the buttress separating the two northern bays at the Guildhall; showing that the two are not identical structures. The ruin at Clipstone does not appear to have been divided into bays. Also the central “carriageway arch” is over 8 feet wide at the Guildhall (Wigford) (Stocker 1991) as opposed to the central “doorway” at Clipstone which is only 6 feet wide (Rahtz 1960).


Differences in the two structures can also be seen on the southeastern side of the building at Clipstone; where Wright points out that there are two rooms that do not exist at the Guildhall (Wigford) stating confusingly that they “vary from the scheme at Wigford, but were integral to the design of the building” (Wright 2016, p 35)


Stocker presents in his 1991 report on the Guildhall excavations, the theory that the Guildhall may have been a “Hospicium” used by Henry II for a crowning ceremony in 1157 (Stocker 1991 p38). Stocker produces compelling evidence for this but does also state that although “the theory that St Mary’s Guildhall was originally Henry II’s Lincoln house may be the most satisfactory of those available” the evidence is “circumstantial” (Stocker 1991 p40). Stocker goes further; stating that we should not expect to find a building like St. Mary’s Guildhall at a rural royal palace site such as Clarendon (Stocker 1991 p40). Clarendon is a site very similar in nature to Clipstone, and is the site most suitable to compare and contrast findings. If we would not expect to see such a building at Clarendon we should question strongly whether we should expect to see one at Clipstone.


All of the above points serve to demonstrate that the dating of the ruin to the 12th century, and its proposed similarities to the Guildhall in Lincoln are not proven, and that there is certainly no consensus as to the dating of the ruin, or of its form, only a series of conflicting interpretations. There is a possibility that some of Wright’s theories are correct, but there is no proof.


In contrast to the 12th century date posited (Wright 2016); Rahtz, and Colvin both dated the standing ruin to the 13th century (Rahtz 1960; Colvin 1963). The pottery that can be identified in the archive, that was used in this dating has been confirmed as from the 13th - 14th century in a review of the ceramic archive from the site (Young and Budge forthcoming). Rahtz also believed that two phases of stone buildings pre-dated the ruin.


Sheppard’s 2016 report questions the recent dating of the monument to the 12th century in contrast to Rahtz, and Colvin’s dating of the 13th century: “it is unclear to the author whether this results from a reassessment of Rahtz’s findings (including pottery and small finds recovered), including his conclusions about there having been an undercroft, or whether a structural survey and assessment of stonework from on and around the monument has led to this conclusion” (Sheppard 2016, p6).


With the above points in mind all theories presented by Wright for the origin of the ruin, the reasons for its construction, and any references to “crown wearings” and the politics of the second half of the 12th century in relation to Clipstone (Wright 2016 p33); should only be taken as unproven speculation, until a better understanding of the ruin and its function and date of construction can be ascertained archaeologically.

From his 1956 excavations Rahtz believed that a ditch encircled the extent of the palace site (which he excavated in a number of places), although he did state that other areas of buildings could have existed away from the sanding ruin (Rahtz 1960). The Wessex report states that “it is still not clear, however, whether the ditches found by Rahtz all formed part of the same feature,” (Wessex 2011).


The profiles drawn by Rahtz (1960) of the “ditch” varied on the southern and western side of the ruins. Recent Ground Penetrating Radar survey by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC has detected the “large enclosure ditch” suggested by Rahtz (Gaunt 2015). It is possible from further examination of the data that this anomaly represents more than one feature, as it does not necessarily appear to join up with the ditch to the south of the ruin. The GPR survey undertaken by GSB unfortunately did not cover the area where the southern section and western section meet (Wessex 2011).


Despite these uncertainties with the evidence this feature has been suggested by some to represent the extent of the 12th century site (Wessex 2011; Wright 2016).


The GPR survey by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC will continue over the coming years at higher resolution. This will be published by the author (Gaunt) when complete. Until this time it will not be possible to be certain as to whether this is one single ditch feature, and it will certainly not be possible to state with confidence if it was the 12th century boundary of the site.


It should be noted that the excavations by Mercian Archaeological Services in 2014 discovered a ditch 100m to the south of the ruin that pre-dated the palace, and that this had a striking similarity in profile to the western part of the ditch recorded as “Ditch 50” by Rahtz to the West of the ruin (Rahtz 1960). The following comes from David Budge of Mercian Archaeological Services CIC in the Transactions of the Thoroton Society:


 “Interestingly Rahtz recorded a ditch of markedly similar profile (Ditch 50*), (Rahtz 1960, 35), though in his interpretation he linked it to other ditches with different profiles elsewhere on the site, and tentatively interpreted them as part of a single curvilinear boundary surrounding and extending west of the ruin. The contemporaneity of the supposed curvilinear boundary to the standing ruin have since been questioned, based on the evidence presented by Rahtz in his article, and it has been suggested that the supposed enclosure may pre-date the palace and have been filled in during the late 12th or early 13th century (Wright and Gaunt 2014, 242)”. (Budge 2014a).

With questions over the nature of the 12th century boundaries suggested by Rahtz, and the presence of 12th century pottery outside of this feature (Gaunt & Budge 2013; Budge 2015; Budge 2016 in press); the extent of the 12th century site is as yet unknown.

However excavations by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC are beginning to demonstrate that the site in the 12th century occupied an area from around the standing ruin towards the road way to the north (Budge and Gaunt 2013; Budge 2015; Budge 2016 in press). It is hoped that over the coming years a fuller picture will emerge.


By the 13th- 14th century the site extended to cover a far larger area, with the south-western boundary ditch detected by Gaunt (2010) and excavated in 2011, 2012, and 2014, forming part of the boundary of the site at that time (Gaunt et al 2015; Budge 2014a).


This ditch was excavated by Wessex in 2011, and by Gaunt, Wright , Crossley and Budge in 2012. The 2012 excavation suggested a 13th - 14th century date for the ditch (Gaunt et al 2015). Excavations by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC in 2014 finally confirmed the dating of the ditch to this period (Budge 2014a).


The excavations in 2014 by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC also suggested that the boundary ditch was part of an extension of the palace in this period:


Significant in terms of interpretation of the feature was the fact that the plough soil on the north side (the ‘inside’) of the ditch yielded relatively high quantities of medieval pottery, mostly of 13th-14th century and later, whilst that to the south of the ditch (‘outside’) yielded very few sherds. Combined with the evidence from previous excavations (particularly in relation to densities of medieval ceramics inside and outside the boundaries of the palace complex, eg test pits in the demense land to the southwest of the ditch (Budge 2013), and test pitting in the village (Gaunt 2013)), the evidence from this excavation suggests the ditch did indeed form the boundary to the palace complex. A paucity of 12th and early 13th century finds in this area suggests that if this was the boundary of the palace from the start then it was kept scrupulously clean, or more likely, that it only became the boundary of the palace following expansion in the 13th or 14th century” (Budge 2014a).


The excavations by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC in 2014 have therefore built on previous work, and given a proven date for the ditch first detected by Gaunt in 2010 as later 13th -  14th century. They have established that the boundary ditch was part of an expansion of the site in the later 13th - 14th century, and that the earlier boundaries of 12th and early 13th centuries lay in a different part of the site, presumed to be to the north as outlined above.


The Gatehouse to the palace is first mentioned in the 14th century (Colvin 1964).


It was first suggested by Mrs M A Bradley as likely to occupy the site of the current Maun, Arundel and Brammer cottages (pers. comm) which lie on the southern side of Mansfield Road on the north side of Castle Field.


During the filming of Time Team at King John’s Palace; plaster was removed from a wall in Arundel Cottage to reveal part of a medieval wall preserved in situ. The following interpretation identifies the gatehouse, and parts of a possible curtain wall by Wessex in 2011:


“4.3.2. Observations of a small section of the rear wall of Arundel Cottage that borders the north of the site… revealed a regularly coursed wall using the same limestone seen in the upstanding remains. The regular coursing suggests that this is a medieval wall, as within a later wall using re-used stone one would expect to find greater variation in stone size and type.


”4.3.3 A pipe roll manuscript dated to 1348/9 describing work undertaken on repairs and improvements to the ‘palace’ talks of a ‘claustrum’ [barrier] encircling the manor in the north part from the great gates [gatehouse] to the angle of the field’. Maun Cottage was called The Gate Inn in the 18th century and may well be the location of the former gatehouse. The wall at the rear of the cottages is therefore likely to be part of the perimeter wall of the manor site” (Wessex 2011, pp8-9).


Following on from the interpretation of the cottages by Time Team (Wessex 2011) as the location of the gatehouse, (based on Mrs M A Bradley’s suggestion), Mercian Archaeological Services CIC were given permission to access and record the cottages. Subsequently a survey was arranged of Brammer Farm House and Arundel Cottage, which was undertaken by Wright for Mercian Archaeological Services CIC in 2013. This survey mapped these walls and corroborated the interpretation that they formed part of the Medieval gateway and part of the curtain wall. The survey also postulated the presence of a possible splayed window (Wright 2013).  


With the gatehouse on the northern edge, it is likely that an area enclosing some 7 acres may have formed the largest extent of the Royal Palace in the 13th- 14th centuries, centering on the enclosure of the 1630 “Mannorgarth” (Gaunt 2010; Gaunt 2011; Gaunt & Wright 2013; Gaunt & Budge 2013; Gaunt & Wright 2014, Gaunt et al 2015). Within this wider enclosure the main extent of the former built environment was possibly situated to the more immediate vicinity of the standing ruin, on all sides (Rahtz 1960; Sheppard 2016; Gaunt 2010; Wessex 2011; Gaunt 2017), and also to the north, northeast and northwest (Budge 2015).


To date; the complete boundary of the site during the 13th and 14th centuries is not fully proven, nor is the relationship to a possible site of domestic occupation within Castle Field to the northwest (Budge 2015). As with the 12th century boundary; excavations by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC are continuing into the boundaries of this once large and sprawling medieval palace (Budge 2015; 2016 in press), and it is hoped that eventually the boundaries will be understood more fully over the coming years.


Anomalies detected through geophysical survey; including Magnetometer surveys (Masters 2004; GSB Prospection 2011; Gaunt 2017) Resistance Surveys (Masters 2004; Gaunt 2010) and Ground Penetrating Radar (GSB Prospection 2011; Gaunt 2015) have all suggested possible buildings or robbed out walls, ditches and other features, that could represent parts of the built environment of the medieval royal palace (and also any potential unknown preceding occupation).


It is important to stress that the layout of the medieval palace and its built environment (in any of its multiple phases of occupation from the 12th to the late 15th century, which included a high number of building phases and periods of reconstruction) is, to date, not yet understood.


This is particularly important following a recent publication which depicts a cartographic representation of the layout of the palace in the 14th century (Wright 2016). The map appears to show the measured location of the Great Hall, Pentices, Privies, the Kings Kitchen, Queen’s Kitchen, Queens Hall, Rosamund’s Chamber, King’s and Queen’s Chambers, Kitchen, Buttery, Pantry, Porch, Chambers, and Roger de Mauley’s Chamber… the map locates and depicts the relationships on the ground of these buildings; but does not relate them to any archaeological evidence. Where archaeological evidence or anomalies are shown on the map, they do not have any function or interpretation provided, and are listed simply as excavated and geophysical anomalies”. The only building that is listed that comes from archaeological excavation is a “tower?” (Rahtz 1960) which the author seems to question. A “chapel?” is listed relating to the rectangular building excavated by Wessex (2011), but the interpretation provided appears to come from the depiction presented in the Time Team television program and not from either the archaeological report (Wessex 2011), or subsequent journal publication associated with the work (Brennan 2015). The Gatehouse is the only other feature from archaeological work that in reality has a known (or measured) location. The ruins of “King John’s Palace” are even named as such on the map and in the text (Wright 2016 p 103), even though they certainly did not carry this name at the time that the map claims to depict. No other building from the list above, (all of which are drawn on on the ground on the measured plan), have any reference to archaeological evidence.


This is not normal archaeological practice, especially on a site of such significance.


The use of historic documents cited in the book as enabling the reconstruction could have been useful if the author had provided a full transcription and translation of the documents to enable a critique of the work. Also the work could have been useful if the interpretation had been limited to the creation of a schematic diagram depicting “this is next to this” with referencing, degrees of certainty, and other caveats attached. This of course should not have been set in a “real world” cartographic map, but could have existed in isolation as a diagram or rough sketch. Such an approach could have been used by archaeologists to suggested uses of buildings if, and when, they are detected in either future archaeological prospection, or through excavation.


The drawing of the outlines of buildings (with suggested full interpretation on a cartographic representation of the site, but without any actually evidence for their location from any form of archaeological investigation) could actually be harmful and dangerous with regard to possible stewardship or protection of the site, and should be discouraged strongly. It is also quite unhelpful with regard to public engagement, and continuing research.


As stated above work is continuing into the boundaries of the site, and also into detecting and interpreting the layout of the site. It is hoped that one day further surviving buildings can be detected, and possibly excavated, and their function, date and relationships understood. The written records would play an important part in this process.


Until that time we can use the surviving medieval records, many of which have been published by a number of historians, (notably Stapleton in late Victorian times, Howard Colvin in the 1960s, and more recently David Crook from the 1970s onwards) to demonstrate the size and importance of the site (see the Historical Timeline below).


3.1. 3. Post Medieval


The King’s Houses at Clipstone began a rapid decline from their heyday in the 13th and 14th centuries. Diminishing royal interest in the 15th century manifested itself in no further visits by any monarchs following the reign of Richard II. This decline of royal interest in the King’s Houses throughout the 15th century fits an overall national pattern. Steane has pointed out that the residences of the monarchy in the later middle ages focused on southeast England. Additionally the numbers of palaces and castles under direct royal control dwindled, and as the size of the Household increased from c.120 in the reign of Henry I to 800 under Henry VI fewer but more grandiose palaces were the preference (Steane 2001).


A survey of the "the dekayes of the manner of Clippeston" dated to 1525 (National Archives E 178/4394) records that:

“First the southest end of the hie Chamber ther is in great dekay & ruyne in stonework tymber lede and plaster & the gavell ende of the same is flede outwarde so that a part of the rove and of flour of the said Chymber is fallen doune. Also ther was sume tyme begone a stone grees & yet is not fynyshed the which hath been the cause of the Ruyne of the said Chambre. Also the Chappell ther is in dekay and hath no cuverying upon it. Also the kechyn ther was new plasterid and the rof therof wantith poyntyng and amedyng of the slate, also on the said kechyn were ij chymnays begon and not fynishyd” (Colvin 1963)


“This survey only lists 3 structures: a chamber, a chapel and a kitchen. It is impossible to be certain whether or not this represented the only extant above ground buildings by 1525, but clearly there was a rapid period of decline” (Gaunt et al 2015).


A land grant of March 1568 refers to the “site of the late castle”, and it seems clear that substantial clearance of the ruins had occurred by this date (Ministers Accounts: SC6 Philip & Mary/505(Notts); Gaunt et al 2015).


The documentary evidence for ruin and decay is perhaps confirmed by the archaeology: excavations by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC in 2013 found evidence of ‘recycling’ of palace material by one of the villagers in the post medieval period:


Here a small, early post medieval , pit was found dug into the natural sands. A quantity of medieval window glass had been dumped in the pit before it was backfilled. The majority of the glass was plain and included some largely complete quarries (with very neatly grozed edges), but a small quantity of painted glass was also present. Both cylinder and crown techniques of manufacture were present and more than one phase of glazing, or more than one window seems likely to be represented. It seems probably that the villager living on this plot ‘liberated’ a window or two from the palace as it was falling into disrepair in the early post medieval period with the aim of harvesting the lead. Perhaps not having the technology to recycle the glass or not having easy access to a market for it, they dug a hole in order to conceal the evidence of their crime!” (Budge & Gaunt 2013).




The Designed Romantic Medieval Landscape



The Medieval Landscape of Clipstone was a designed landscape, altered by the crown to form an idealised Forest in Miniature, suitable from Royal Hunting. The layout of this landscape seems to suggest a design reflected in the depictions of landscape in contemporary literature, such as that depicted in the 14th century Arthurian poem Gawain and the Green Knight (Gaunt 2011; Gaunt & Wright 2013).


In 2006 Andy Gaunt began working on creating a map of the landscape of medieval Sherwood Forest, with Alan McCormack (former Keeper of Antiquities at Nottingham Castle), while working as a Community Archaeologist at Nottinghamshire County Council. This mapping helped Gaunt form the beginning of what would develop into a deep and intimate knowledge and understanding of the landscape of Sherwood Forest, particularly in the Medieval period. In 2009 the act of Gaunt standing on top of the ruins of King John’s Palace, during restoration work, and observing the relationship of the site to the surrounding woodlands, led to investigations into the historic mapping and documents, and relating them to the actual landscape through surveying and field work.


Andy Gaunt Archaeologist at King John's Palace









Picture: Andy Gaunt on top of the ruins of King John’s Palace, looking at the views, circa 2009.


Andy Gaunt Archaeologist at King John's Palace









Picture: Andy Gaunt on top of the ruins of King John’s Palace, looking at the views, circa 2009.


This in turn led in 2010 to a Geophysical Resistance survey of the 11 acres of Castle Field (Gaunt 2010) with the intention of understanding the layout of the palace, in order to create a 3D model of the site, and relate the palace to the landscape in ArcGIS through 3D modeling. This survey led to a new interpretation of the palace site as being the same or similar to the 6- 7 acre ‘Mannorgarth’ as depicted on a 1630 map of Clipstone (Gaunt 2010; 2011).


Andy Gaunt Geophysics at King John's Palace

















Picture: Gaunt 2010 geophysical resistance survey results


This formed the basis of a subsequent Masters Dissertation; Clipstone Park and the Kings Houses- Reconstructing and interpreting a medieval landscape through non-invasive techniques, for the University of Birmingham Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity, completed in 2011 (Gaunt 2011).


Andy Gaunt Masters at King John's Palace












Picture: Andy Gaunt’s 2011 dissertation Clipstone Park and the King’s Houses: Reconstructing and interpreting a medieval landscape through non-invasive techniques.


This work represented a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding the landscape utilising; Geophysical Survey, Level One Archaeological survey, infra-red data, historic mapping, documentary analysis, translation and interpretation of medieval perambulations and original sketch maps.


Andy Gaunt landscape archaeology at King John's Palace













Picture: Landscape analysis -research from medieval perambulation documents and historic mapping to reconstruct the landscape of Clipstone (Gaunt 2011).



A reconstruction of the 1606 map of Clipstone by Andy Gaunt 2011.


















Picture: Landscape analysis -research from 17th century historic mapping to reconstruct the landscape of Clipstone (Gaunt 2011).


A reconstruction from 16-17th century maps of Clipstone by Andy Gaunt 2011.


















Picture: Landscape analysis -research from 17th century documents and historic mapping to reconstruct the landscape of Clipstone (Gaunt 2011).


The resulting landscape analysis (computerised GIS based reconstruction of the landscape of Clipstone in Medieval times based on the 1630 map by William Senior, and other historic mapping and documents, and computer generated 3D models) enabled a theoretic examination of the landscape.


Andy Gaunt 3D landscape archaeology at King John's Palace












Picture: 3D reconstruction of the palace site (Gaunt 2011).


Andy Gaunt 3D geophysics archaeology at King John's Palace














Picture: 3D reconstruction with analysis of Resistance survey results (Gaunt 2011)



Clipstone 3D landscape Sherwood Forest














Picture: Reconstructed medieval landscape of Clipstone and surrounding landscape. (Gaunt 2011).


This was the first full interpretation of the landscape of Clipstone (David Crook wrote about the landscape of Clipstone in his publication Clipstone Park and Peel (1976), but Gaunt’s 2011 work was the first fully integrated multi-disciplinary analysis).
















Picture: Gaunt’s reconstruction of medieval Clipstone in 2D (Gaunt 2011).


All subsequent landscape discussions at Clipstone are based on this work.


From this quantitative study of the landscape it became apparent to Gaunt that the medieval landscape at Clipstone should be compared to other large royal palace sites in the country such as Clarendon and Woodstock, and abroad such as Hesdin in France.


Work by eminent academics including Dr Amanda Richardson on medieval deer parks and hunting landscapes has suggested that landscapes around high status hunting palaces have an element of design, some of which reflects the desire to create landscapes similar to those depicted in the Romance literature of the times (Richardson 2007).


Medieval Parks a New Perspective











The GIS reconstruction created by Gaunt (2011) enabled a more qualitative interpretation to be undertaken in a quantitative environment, as suggested by Henry Chapman for using GIS in Landscape Archaeology (Chapman 2006). Using this computer simulation and analysis work alongside on-the-ground observations, it became apparent to Gaunt that these elements of romantic design (as identified by Amanda Richardson at Clarendon), were present in the medieval landscape of Clipstone. These findings were subsequently put forward in 2011 (Gaunt 2011).


Following further development by the author (Gaunt), including more on the ground interpretation these were published in the Thoroton Transactions by Gaunt (with some contributions on the built environment by Wright (Gaunt and Wright 2013).


Elements of design recognised by Gaunt in the medieval landscape include: Launds, Holynes (A wood of Holly trees for fodder for fallow deer in the park), Cunygre (rabbit warrens), Clipstone Wode, Fliskerhaw Wode, the Great Pond, and other features, including the medieval open fields, and possible relationship of the palace site to the mannorgarth (Gaunt 2011).
















Picture: Gaunt 2011 map redrawn by Gaunt for 2013 publication in Thoroton Society Transactions (Gaunt & Wright 2013) with extra annotation and Launds higlighted.


The following excerpt from Gaunt 2011 demonstrates elements of the designed landscape of Clipstone including the relations of the palace to the deer Launds, and the topography and surrounding wood and Forest:


The landscape of Medieval Clipstone is very much dominated by the park and royal palace site. The Palace site occupies the head of a spur of land created by the confluence of two rivers. As well as the complex of buildings which make up the palace the site also extends to the south to include an area of rabbit warrens across the valley of Vicar Water, and to the east to include the large fish pond, and a stew pond for storing fish ready for the table within the complex itself. The Palace site is situated on a rise above the village which is level with the approach from the northwest, and the royal manor of Mansfield. It becomes visible when the roadway turns to face the palace. Views from the palace in this north-westerly direction take advantage of an area of launds or deer lawns which extend into the park. These views both to and from the palace are the key to its orientation. This is the view from the palace that takes most advantage of its setting, and is the view to the palace that most demonstrates its grandeur. The palace is meant to be seen from this northwestern view, be it from in the park, or from the approach from the northwest. Views across extensive launds are also seen to the southwest where the view from the palace across the launds is framed by Fliskerhaw wood to the north and Clipstone wood to the south, with the launds flanking the sides of the Vicar Water Valley as it rises towards woodland at its western end.


All the views from the palace on the north, west and southern sides are framed by woodland at their furthest view. This gives an impression of being in a wild and wooded environment, a back drop for the palace and parkland. It has been suggested that such a setting and the use of views was an essential part of the make up and use of medieval parks. ‘They provided wood and especially timber, or grazing for horses, or many other practical uses, but crucially they still existed as an ornament and provided a private place of recreation in the full meaning of the word’ (Fletcher 2007). Beyond just being functional sites that were by chance also beautiful parks can be viewed as ‘ornamental landscapes’ (Taylor 2000). This suggests perhaps a deliberate maintenance or even manufacture or design of the landscape to be ornamental. In the absence of much discussion available from the historic records which are by their nature concerned mainly with the recording of expenses and building costs, attention has focused more recently on romantic literature. Examples such as the depiction of Bertialk’s castle in Gawain and the Green Knight have been suggested as a source of inspiration for park land creation and the retreats of medieval kings, or as a reflection of an ideal. The ideal being parkland surrounded by the wild wood and containing expansive launds used to frame whitewashed palaces (Richardson 2007). Similar royal residences have been shown to back up this view that the landscape was used as a backdrop to be enjoyed. The intention of Henry I in his efforts at Woodstock seems to have been as much to create a comfortable retreat as to make a statement of power and authority (Mileson 2007). Edward III also seems to have made additions to Woodstock palace with the intention of enjoying the beauty of the landscape, with a reference to a balcony being constructed in 1354 in order to provide his daughter Isabella with better views over Woodstock Park (Colvin 1986). Such a consideration would seemingly not be made if the landscape was merely one of function or status. A recent reconstruction of Clarendon Palace by English Heritage shows the residence to be raised on a steep scarp above a valley from which the northern launds rise. ‘Visitors would see the palace scarp terrace dominating the skyline, backed by trees, and would have to climb the hill to the western entrance having traversed the park below’ (Richardson 2007). This description is very similar to the landscape and palace at Clipstone, especially the approach from the northwest.
It is necessary to be cautious when suggesting that the park and palace were designed to operate together, due to the difficulty in stating a single designer for a park such as Clipstone. It seems more likely that the park, palace and landscape developed in unison in a piecemeal fashion through the medieval period. But what does seem apparent from examining the medieval landscape is that the palace was developed to take advantage of its setting. It would be hard to imagine that this was not done with a romantic ideal or an appreciation for beauty and the setting within a landscape of hunting and perceived romance”. (Gaunt 2011).















Picture: View from approach from the East. Andy Gaunt’s 3D reconstruction of medieval romantic landscape of Clipstone (Gaunt 2011).
















Picture: View from the southeast. Andy Gaunt’s 3D reconstruction of medieval romantic landscape of Clipstone (Gaunt 2011).

















Picture: View from the Northwest. Andy Gaunt’s 3D reconstruction of medieval romantic landscape of Clipstone (Gaunt 2011).

















Picture: View from the southwest. Andy Gaunt’s 3D reconstruction of medieval romantic landscape of Clipstone (Gaunt 2011).

 

















Picture: Views from the northwestern deer laund of the palace (Gaunt 2011).


















Picture: Views from the southwestern deer laund towards the palace- in the middle ground was originally the great pond (Gaunt 2011)

















Picture: View from the laund to the east- looking west toward the palace (this is the first view of Clipstone when approaching from the east and the road to York and Great North Road (Gaunt 2014).


The landscape of Clipstone has been identified by Gaunt as being similar to that depicted in the Gawain and Green Knight poem.


There is possibly also evidence to back this up with relation to the built environment at Clipstone: Saltzmann in his 1952 book Building in England Down to 1540 A Documentary History actually states the following:


In 1368, at Clipstone, we find a payment ‘for making 2 chimneys (camenorum) with plaster of Paris, which had blown down by the wind (Salztmann 1952)”… He states that the entry comes from the King’s Rememberancer, Accounts roll E101/460/20, and continues: “...-implying that the were external- and these correspond to the ‘chalk whyt chymnees’ on a castle roof in a contemporary romance” (Salztmann 1952). He references this ‘contemporary romance’ as “Gawayn and the Grene Knight, quoted in Addy, Evolution of the English Home, 116” (Salztmann 1952).


If this is a true interpretation by Saltzmann and Addy relating to interpreting Plaster of Paris Chimneys at Clipstone to those depicted in Gawain and the Green Knight, this goes some way to corroborating Gaunt’s interpretations of the designed romantic landscape of Clipstone, and suggests that this romantic design was mirrored in the built environment of the palace.


In a recent publication Wright appears to claim to have been the person who interpreted the landscape of Clipstone from the 1630 map, and to have been the person to interpret the landscape as being similar to that in the Gawain and Green Knight poem (Wright 2016). He claims to have been directly inspired by both the 1630 map and the Gawain and the Green Knight poem to undertake his research:


“My appreciation of the site was brought about by five sets of texts which have proved absolutely indispensable to my research… the great Middle English poem by an anonymous Midlands author Sir Gawain and the Green Knight… William Senior’s estate map of Clipstone created in 1630 for the Earl of Newcastle… This extraordinarily accurate and very beautiful map… shows what is essentially a frozen Medieval landscape landscape” (Wright (Wright 2016  p vi-vii).


Despite his claims of the work and theories being his (“my” research) the work and the theories were in fact Andy Gaunt’s.


Wright does not credit Gaunt as being the one to have undertaken the landscape analysis work, or as coming up with the theories relating to romance literature and the Gawain and Green Knight poem in relation to the landscape of medieval Clipstone.


Instead Wright appears to present himself as having undertaken the work.


This is demonstrably not true.


James Wright’s actions are extremely concerning.





Archaeological Work at King John’s Palace and Clipstone



The site of King John’s Palace and surrounding landscape of Clipstone have been subject to a number of archaeological investigations which are recorded below. These fall into a number of discrete phases, but until the more recent inclusion of the site in Mercian Archaeological Services CIC’s Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project in 2013, the each formed discrete individual pieces of work, and did not form any part of an overarching investigation or project.

All archaeological works are listed with the location of the published report which can be seen in the bibliography. Unfortunately there are a number of pieces of work which have not been reported at the time of publication despite the lapsing of a number of years; Wright stone recording undertaken in 2008; Wright 2014 Maun Cottage survey; and Sheppard 1991 fieldwalking (mentioned in appendix in Sheppard 2016).


2013-present: Mercian Archaeological Services CIC and The Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project at King John’s Palace



2016 onwards: “From Rahtz to Mercian” - Celebrating 60 years of Archaeology at King John’s Palace

Mercian Archaeological Services CIC are undertaking a re-assessment of the previous excavations, surveys and work at the site, dating back to the time of Philip Rahtxz in 1956. This reassessment will eventually be published as part of the monograph for work at the site.


12th century carved stone beast head Clipstone Sherwood Forest


 (Picture of the 12th century carved Beast head excavated by Rahtz in 1956)







2016 Archaeological Training Field School, King John’s Palace, by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC.

A second season of excavation occurred in a trench close to the road frontage of the site, in the grounds of the building known as the Tin Tabernacle.This part of the site “may contain some of the only surviving remains of the road frontage of the palace, while the lack of 20th century ploughing may mean any remains are well preserved. The most significant finds, however, came from the re-deposited spoil from the tabernacle foundations. These were a number of sherds of early to middle Saxon pottery, including a hand made jar rim. Jane Young, who kindly examined these sherds along with the Saxon pottery from the Discover King John's Palace project (Budge 2015), noted that the range of fabrics and wide dating span of the material suggest it is more likely to come from occupation than isolated and short term activities. The re-deposited spoil also contained quantities of late Saxon and Saxo-Norman pottery, much of the latter datable to the 12th century and probably contemporary with the earliest documented royal activity on the site. Relatively large quantities of 13th - 14th century pottery were also present” (Budge 2016 in press).


           













 Sherwood Forest Archaeology training field school 2016















2016 Ground Penetrating Radar Survey at King John’s Palace, by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC.


This GPR Survey continued the survey from 2015 with further coverage to the east and southeast of the monument. The results will be published at the end of the project, in line with Mercian Archaeological Services CIC’s publication policy.



Archaeology King John's Palace










2015 Archaeological training Field School, King John’s Palace, by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC.

The first season of excavation occurred in a trench close to the road frontage of the site, in the grounds of the building known as the Tin Tabernacle.This part of the site “may contain some of the only surviving remains of the road frontage of the palace, while the lack of 20th century ploughing may mean any remains are well preserved. The most significant finds, however, came from the re-deposited spoil from the tabernacle foundations. These were a number of sherds of early to middle Saxon pottery, including a hand made jar rim. Jane Young, who kindly examined these sherds along with the Saxon pottery from the Discover King John's Palace project (Budge 2015), noted that the range of fabrics and wide dating span of the material suggest it is more likely to come from occupation than isolated and short term activities. The re-deposited spoil also contained quantities of late Saxon and Saxo-Norman pottery, much of the latter datable to the 12th century and probably contemporary with the earliest documented royal activity on the site. Relatively large quantities of 13th - 14th century pottery were also present” (more details Budge 2016 in press).



Sherwood Forest Archaeology Field School














2015 Discover King John’s Palace - Test Pitting Project, by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC with The Sherwood Forest Trust.

This test-pitting excavation formed part of the Sherwood Forest Trust’s Big Lottery funded Discover King John’s Palace Project. The project won a public television vote on ITV as part of the People’s Million’s. 1,500 people visited the site as part of the project with 500 school children visiting the site and 126 people digging as part of the community archaeology excavation. The project was designed to investigate the northeastern part of the site to look for the medieval boundary. Previous work had established the location of the 13th / 14th century boundary ditch on the south side of the palace (Gaunt et al 2015, Budge 2014a). This feature is traceable as a geophysical anomaly (Gaunt 2014), earthwork, and as a land parcel division depicted on maps from the earliest, in 1630, through to 1835, after which it was removed. This feature can be traced by all three means to the point to the west of the standing ruins. North and west of this point the boundary cannot be traced in the geophysical survey data and cartographic evidence for its course is ambiguous. The results for this project can be seen in  Budge 2015.



Archaeology King John's Palace













Robin Hood singing the King John Blues















Archaeology King John's Palace

















2015 Ground Penetrating Radar Survey at King John’s Palace Phase 1, by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC:

This GPR Survey covered the area to the north and west of the monument, and is the first part of a survey designed cover the entire site in multiple levels of resolution over a five year period. The results will be published at the end of the project, in line with Mercian Archaeological Services CIC’s publication policy. Preliminary results are published in Gaunt 2015.



Archaeology King John's Palace










2014 Archaeological Training Field School, King John’s Palace, by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC.

The 2014 fieldschool focused on the intersection of geophysical anomalies representing possible ditches (Gaunt 2017). The excavation confirmed the dating of the medieval boundary ditch. An older ditch (possible enclosure) in the southwestern corner of Castle Field, was cut by the boundary ditch of the palace. It was suggested that this ditch/enclosure pre-date the palace site. Further information is available in Budge 2014(a).



Archaeology Field School












Archaeology Field School












2014 Geophysical Magnetic Survey at King John’s Palace, by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC.

This survey covered the whole of Castle Field, and detected anomalies including the boundary ditch (Gaunt 2010; Gaunt 2011; Budge 2014a, Gaunt et al 2015), and possible buildings. The results are published in Gaunt 2017.




















Magnetometer Archaeology King John's Palace SHerwood Forest











Download the report here:


Geophysical Magnetometer Survey at King John’s Palace in Sherwood Forest.

Castle Field, Waterfield Farm, Kings Clipstone, Nottinghamshire.


Andy Gaunt


http://www.mercian-as.co.uk/reports/kjp_magnetometer_survey_report_2017.pdf






2014 St. Edwin’s Chapel, Kings Clipstone, Fieldwalking, by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC.


This survey covered the field to the south of St Edwin’s Chapel. The fieldwalking helped to confirm the location of the chapel through the presence of scattered building stone. Finds within the spread of stone included 13th- 14th century Nottingham type jug sherds, sherds from Brackenfield in Derbyshire, and a sherd of 15th-16th century Ticknall Cistercian Ware pot. Pot-boiler stones were also detected in a number of concentrations, but these are so far undated from around the field. The results are published in  Budge 2014(b).


































2014 St. Edwin’s Chapel Geophysical Magnetic Survey, Kings Clipstone, by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC.

The field south of St Edwin’s Chapel was subject to a Magnetic Survey. Unfortunately conditions and problems with equipment resulted in poor results. The site is due to be re-surveyed by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC in Autumn 2017. The results of the 2014 survey will then also be included in the the report for the 2017 work as an appendix.













2014 Standing Building Survey of Maun Cottage by James Wright for Mercian Archaeological Services CIC.

A survey of Maun Cottage was undertaken by James Wright.
Unfortunately at the time of publication (April 2017) no report exists for this work or has been received, and no communication has been received following the expiration of a negotiated deadline of April 2016.




2013 Digging the Demense, Test pitting project in Castle Field, by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC.  


This test-pitting project targeted the area in the west of Caste Field  interpreted as being in the Waterfield (Gaunt 2011). The excavations detected mainly plough-soils. Further information is published in Budge 2013.



Archaeology King John's Palace Test Pits Volunteers












Seiving King John's Palace












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.


Download the Interim Report here:


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


https://www.academia.edu/10016389/_Digging_the_Demense_Community_Archaeology_Test_Pitting_Project_at_Waterfield_Farm_King_s_Clipstone_Nottinghamshire._Interim._Budge_2013


David Budge






2013 King Clipstone Village Project by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC.

Test pitting in village to investigate settlement development,This project excavated test-pit in the village, including 2 pits within the boundaries of the palace site. One test-pit revealed evidence of ‘recycling’ of palace material by a resident of the village.Here a small pit, early post-medieval, pit contained a dump of medieval glass from the palace site (more information is published in Budge & Gaunt 2013).


Archaeology Clipstone













2013 Standing Building Survey of Brammer Farm House and Arundel Cottage by James Wright for Mercian Archaeological Services CIC.

This survey confirmed and recorded in-situ medieval walls interpreted by Wessex Archaeology as the Gatehouse of the  Palace. The report is published as Wright 2013.















2009 - 2012, Start of modern research projects


2012 Boundary Ditch Excavation; Gaunt, Budge, Crossley and Wright.

This project opened two trenches across the linear anomaly identified by Gaunt (2010) and suggested as the boundary of the “Mannorgarth” (Gaunt 2011). “The anomaly proved to be a substantial ditch. Though there were relatively few finds, the ditch appeared to have begun silting in the 13th or 14th century, with pottery of a similar date being incorporated into the base of the possible bank deposits located to the north of the feature (inside the palace complex) and thus suggesting a 13th or 14th century date for its construction. The ditch remained in use as a land parcel boundary after the palace was decommissioned and the upper fills included various post medieval and modern ceramics” (Gaunt et al 2015).

2011 Time Team excavation. Wessex Archaeology.


Seven trenches were excavated by Wessex Archaeology on behalf of Videotext Communications Ltd during April 2011. The majority of these lay close to the area of the Scheduled Monument. The Time Team excavations were the first major archaeological excavations within the site of the medieval royal palace at Clipstone. Although there are problems with the pottery dating for the Medieval period, (discovered during a re-assessment of the pottery archive for the site) and with the suggestion that there were no medieval cooking pottery vessels found  (Young and Budge forthcoming), the excavations discovered a number of previously unknown features relating to the built environment of the palace. These include a wall to the southeast of the southwestern wall of the monument, on the same alignment. This could either suggest the building of which the ruin formed a part, is far larger that previously believed, or it could represent another building or perhaps representing a range of buildings. Its relationship to the ruin is not known but its alignment with the southwestern wall is clearly interesting. To the east of this feature, a probable robbed out wall was discovered on a similar orientation, but not on the same alignment. A buttress was discovered on the northeast side of the robbed out wall. This suggests that the interior of any building associated with the robbed out wall and buttress must have lain to the southwest.

To the northeast of the standing remains, a rectangular building to the north of the standing ruins, but on a different alignment to them, was excavated (Wessex 2011, Brennan 2015).

Other possible walls and features were not excavated but were recorded in the geophysical surveys below. The full report can be found in Wessex 2011, and a publication of the results is seen in Brennan 2015.


2011 Ground Penetrating Radar Survey and Magnetometer Survey, King John’s Palace, GSB Prospection.


 Undertaken during the filming of Time Team at King John’s Palace in April 2011. Amongst the anomalies found was a rectangular response that was subsequently interpreted as a chapel by Wessex (Wessex 2011), also walls to adjacent to the northwest face of the standing ruin (Wessex 2011) these probably relate to the “Tower” suggested by Rahtz (1960), and a number of potential walls orientated parallel and perpendicular to the standing remains were detected on the southeast side of the monument, some of these walls were excavated (Wessex 2011).

The results of the survey although “frustrating” according to the report, have helped to located a large number of possible walls in and around the monument, that are the first major starting point in understanding more of the layout of the site, and are therefore a great asset to the archaeological record.



2011 3D and 2D Archaeological reconstruction of medieval designed romantic landscape of Clipstone, Andy Gaunt:

In 2011 Gaunt undertook a reconstruction of the landscape of medieval Clipstone in GIS and 3D software with data from the 1630 map of the lordship and other historic documents. (Gaunt 2011). This reconstruction in 2D and 3D and the accompanying reporting constituted the first major analysis of the landscape as a whole.













2010 Geophysical Resistance Survey, Andy Gaunt:

This survey by Gaunt covered the entire 11 acres of Castle Field. It was the first geophysical investigation on the site to cover the whole  field, and not targeted merely on the immediate proximity of the standing ruins. The survey aimed at determining the boundaries, extent, and possible built environment of the site. The survey detected a number of anomalies that could represent parts of the built environment, as well as possible garden features. The main anomaly detected was a 160m long anomaly running northwest-southeast across Castle Field. This was interpreted as the boundary of “Mannorgarth” (Gaunt 2010). The report for the survey is available in Gaunt 2010.




















Picture: Results of Resistance survey Gaunt 2011.


Download Andy Gaunt’s Resistance Survey Report:

http://site.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/EasysiteWeb/getresource.axd?AssetID=131123



2009 Level One Survey of parish by Andy Gaunt and research for MA.

Recorded the location of boundary oaks, and the suggested deer leap in Kings Wood to the north of the parish (Gaunt 2011).



1991 - 2008, Consolidating the ruins:



2008 Condition Survey of Monument by Peter Rogan (Chartered Architect and Historic Building Consultant) (Rogan 2008).

2008 Stone Amnesty, James Wright (Historic Buildings Assistant) Nottinghamshire County Council.


The report for this 2008 project by James Wright is unwritten (Historic Environment Record (HER) request last made in April 2017).

2004-5 Condition Survey of Monument, by Jason Mordan (Senior Practitioner in Historic Buildings) and James Wright (Historic Buildings Assistant), Nottinghamshire County Council;  

Photographic record, condition survey and structural analysis of monument. The results can be seen in Mordan and Wright (2005). Wright also published the results of the Mordan and Wright report in the Thoroton Transactions as Wright (2004).

2004 Geophysical Resistance and Magnetometer Survey by Peter Masters, PCA Archaeology.

This identified a number of linear anomalies identified as robbed out foundation trenches, ditches and traces of earlier excavations (Masters 2004).


1991 Archaeological Investigation by Trent & Peak Archaeology.

Excavations within the Scheduled Monument as part of reconstruction work to the ruin. The report was published in 2016 by Richard Sheppard.

The excavation’s study area was set beneath “a gap about 5.5m long in the main north-south wall, whose rubble core is today about 1m thick. The excavations suggested that there was no ashlar facing to the inner wall of the ruin on the ground floor level- suggesting possibly only thickly applied plaster, as the foundations to the wall only extend out from the wall on the outer side to support ashlar, and on the “inner” side there is no such provision. The foundations on the northwest part of the wall extended down at least 1.5m. A possible post medieval “support wall” was recorded on top of the medieval foundations, on the inner side. A gap in the wall foundations at the southern end of the excavated area suggest a door way lined on either side by ashlar stone. Sheppard also speculates a window on the same wall further to the north: “Based on the limited evidence found: a gap in the foundation walling with a possible ashlared inner edge, the presence of an early yet secondary stub wall… and the showing of two former openings at this end of the monument on the Grose Print, the author suggests that there may have been at this north end of the monument’s main wall both a narrow doorway (possibly with steps leading down into an undercroft, later robbed) and an adjacent window to the north, which may have been partly infilled” (Sheppard 2016).


1991 Fieldwalking of Castle Field by Trent & Peak Archaeology.

One exceptional find was a jetton, found at “some distance” from the monument (No report, exists-  discussion submitted as appendix in Sheppard 2016).




1950s, Earlier excavations:



1956 Evaluation excavations conducted by Philip Rahtz.

In October 1956 Philip Rahtz excavated 2 long evaluation trenches extending outwards at right angles to the monument through its centre. A number of smaller trenches and inspection slots were also excavated in an attempt to trace features such as a posited boundary ditch. Finds included a possible Roman feature, post holes, pits and possible beamslots from the 12th or early 13th century. Rahtz interpreted the ruins as dating from the later 13th century based on archaeological finds.  




Historical Timeline for the Medieval Kings Houses at Clipstone:



As archaeological work continues to establish the boundaries of the site, and attention turns to understanding the built environment of the palace complex through Geophysical Survey and  excavation; the historical timeline for the site is reasonably well understood.

Publications by Howard Colvin in the 1960s (concentrating on the building records), and David Crook (listing the visits of the Kings to the Palace, and focusing on the deer park) in the 1970s; building on and adding to Stapleton’s work in the 1890s have helped to create a baseline data set and timeline for the site.

Recent publications by Gaunt (Mercian Archaeological Services CIC) and Wright have further helped in the understanding of the written record for Clipstone.

Also local community research concentrating on the records from the various court rolls for the site (notably by Josh Down of the Forest Town Nature Conservation Group (references from Josh Dowen’s site are marked with a link to the Forest Town Nature Conservation Group page http://www.foresttown.net/index.php/heritage/clipstone-park-chronology/, and are greatly recieved) has added significantly to the documentation for the site.


The various court rolls, building records, patent rolls, liberate rolls etc covering the entire period of the sites occupation are published. Some of these are available online, and others in archives.


Mercian are also fortunate to have original full copies of the Nottingham Borough Records, Sherwood Forest Book, History of the King’s Works, Inquisitions Post Mortem, Thoroton Society Transactions, and many other sources for the site in their library.


Below is a timeline of events collated from Court Rolls, Liberate Rolls, Patent rolls, published secondary accounts  by Historians, and many other sources; and represents some of the recent research.

Mercian consider that this historical research should be available to the public in order to raise the profile of the site, and help to demonstrate the importance of the site in medieval times.

It is hoped it will be of interest to anyone wanting to know more about the palace, and that it  will be of use to anyone looking to undertake further research.

The list should be considered to be dynamic, and is being compiled and updated constantly from our baseline data sets on the Mercian network. We promise that all will be available eventually.


(please forward any questions or comments to info@mercian-as.co.uk).




Norman



1086: Domesday Book:

“Osbern and Ulsi [Wulfsi] had two manors in Clipstone, which paid the Geld for one caracute. The land was two caracutes. After the Conquest Roger de Busli had in demesne one caracute and a half, and twelve villeins and three borders, having three caracutes and a half, and one mill of three shillings. Wood, by places pasturable, one leuca long and one broad. In the Confessor’s time the value was sixty shillings, but forty shillings at the time of the Survey.”




Henry II



1164-5: First reference to Clipstone as a royal residence occurs in the Pipe Roll for 1164-5, when £20 were spent out of the farm of the honour of Tickhill ‘on the work of the King’s Houses of Clipstone’. Pipe Roll II Henry II, p 53. (Colvin Vol II p 918)


1164: This year, for a tun of wine for the King, and its conduct from London to Clipstone, and thence to Nottingham, was paid £4 12s. 6d., perhaps in connection with a royal visit. In works upon the Kings' House at Clipstone £20, by the King's writ. And for a fourth of the year, while Robert fitz Ranulph held office, £13 8s. 6d. (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1165-6: This year the Sheriff, Robert fitz Ralph, rendered an account of 44 shillings (amount deleted) of the ferm of Clipstone. In stocking the same Manor—for six oxen 18s., ten cows 20s., ten sows 6s. 8d., ten bee-hives 6s. 8d., twelve sheep 4s. (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1166-7: The Sheriff rendered an account of 100s. of the ferm of Clipstone, which was paid into the Treasury. (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1168-9: Towards the Aid,—a feudal tax or subsidy,—this year levied for marrying the King's daughter, to which Mansfield paid 20 marks and Edwinstowe 3 marks, Clipstone contributed 1 mark. It is not quite certain in what ratio this Aid was imposed, but in the following reign another one was paid by the King's tenants in chief,—those who held directly of him,—at the rate of twenty shillings per knight's fee (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1170-1: Expended on works at Clipstone this year 46s. 8d (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1171-2: For enclosing the Hays around the Kings' House at Clipstone 20s., by the view of Ralph de Wellebeuf and William fil Rein. In operations upon the Kings' House 43s., by the view of Thomas de London and William fil Rein. Account rendered of 3s. 4d. for honey at the Hays of Clipstone


This is the earliest reference to the Hays. The word itself means a hedge, but here it signifies an enclosure,—always occurring in the plural. The number however is not mentioned, but there were probably two, perhaps one within the other with a view to defence. The hays of Sherwood Forest were enclosures in which no man could claim commonage.

The phrase "by view" requires a little explanation. When the sheriff of a county executed, by order, any work for the King, the amount expended was set down to his credit, to be settled for at the end of the official year. But, to save the King from being overcharged or defrauded, "viewers" were appointed to oversee the work. The number of these is not often mentioned,—though they are specially set down as four in 1214; it probably varied, perhaps in proportion to the magnitude of the work. These were mostly agents of the Grown, royal taskers, purveyors and the like,—at times local jurats,—who were afterwards examined before the Barons of the Exchequer on their oaths, before the Sheriff was finally credited to the amount expended (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1173-4: William fitz Ranulph, Sheriff, this year gave account of the Assize of the King's Demesnes, and among the rest Clipstone 32s. 8d. Assize has many meanings, and in the present case may mean either a tax or rent,—probably the former (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1176-7: Expended at Clifton, with the vivarium (fish-pond), £210. This may be a mistake for Clipstone, judging by subsequent references. The outlay was an enormous one (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1177-8: Operations upon the vivarium of Clipstone £20; the chapel £20; the House £36 6s. 8d. This fish-pond may or may not have been the mill-dam as in after years. This is the earliest reference to the chapel; such an expenditure conveys the impression that it must have been connected with the cost of building the structure (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1178-9: Works at Clipstone and Nottingham £65; the park £10 12s. 6d.; the vivarium, &c., £126. Overseers, Henry Leech, Reginald de St. Maria, Adam de Mortain, and William fil Walkelin; and for horses and beasts employed for the King's use, by Hugo de St. Mauro, £4 15s. 3d. With reference to the above, it should be remembered that there was a park and vivarium at Nottingham. Possibly the last item has reference a royal visit (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1179-80: For inclosing the park at Clipstone £30; overseer William fil Walkelin. This is important as the earliest certain reference to the Park, especially as it tells us the date of inclosure. Though not the first, as has been stated, it was yet among the first of English parks. Previous to this inclosure the men of Mansfield appear to have had common of pasture on the site, a privilege of which they were thus deprived, apparently without recompense (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1176-80: According to Colvin the above works mentioned by Stapleton equate to over £500 spent on works at Clipstone which included:



(Colvin Vol II  p918)


No architectural details, but the beast head “twelfth-century corbel or dripstone in the form of a Romanesque animal-head” found in 1956 (excavated by Rahtz) and the voussoirs and the overall cost suggest a substantial stone building. (Colvin Vol II  p918)


The Angevin house was surrounded by a ditch, partially excavated in 1956 (see rahtz) (Colvin Vol II p918).


Colvin possibly misidentifies the fish pond as the earthwork surviving adjacent to castlefield. Or he may be right! (Colvin Vol II p919)


For some time after the death of Henry II the expenditure was chiefly on repairs (Colvin Vol II p 91)


1178 - 80: £89 spent on the works of enclosing  of the park (Crook , D. 1976. Clipstone Park and Peel. Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire 80. P35).


1181: August (Eyton, R. W. 1878. Court, Household, Itinerary of King Henry II. Taylor and Co. p241).


Henry II visited Clipstone (Crook , D. 1976. Clipstone Park and Peel. Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire 80).


The King was at Nottingham about August 1181, whence he probably journeyed north  (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


“A charter to the order of Lazarites, bearing date at Clipstone, very possibly belongs to this period. It is attested by Geoffry the King's son, Fulk Painel, Reginald de Curteneye, Robert de Stuteville, Ralph fitz Stephen, Bertram de Verdon, Michael Belet, and William de Bendinges” (Eyton, R. W. 1878. Court, Household, Itinerary of King Henry II. Taylor and Co. p241).


1182-3: For utensils in the King's House at Clipstone, by the King's writ, 36s. 6d (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1184-5: In payment of Humphrey de Bussei, for guarding the King's House at Clipstone, 66s. (or 60s.); and Ranulph and Herbert, for keeping the Park there, 4s (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1185: February. (Eyton, R. W. 1878. Court, Household, Itinerary of King Henry II. Taylor and Co. p261).


Henry II visited Clipstone (Crook , D. 1976. Clipstone Park and Peel. Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire 80).


“Of two charters there expedited one is to Thurgarton Priory, Notts., the other to Barling's Abbey, Lincolnshire. The testing clause of the latter, when corrected by the former, gives witnesses common to both, viz., Hugh, Bishop of Durham; William, Earl of Arundel; Ranulph de Glanvill; Bernard de St. Wallery; Roger de Stutevill; William de Stutevill; Hugh Bardolf, Dapifer; and Ranulph de Guddinges” (Eyton, R. W. 1878. Court, Household, Itinerary of King Henry II. Taylor and Co. p261).


This appears to be the only other recorded visit of Henry, but it is probable that he was here on other occasions, though the sparse records and chronicles of this reign afford but general ideas of the royal progresses. He frequently traversed the neighbourhood in passing between the north and south of the kingdom, and in 1157, for instance, he spent a long period from September to December in Notts, and the Peak (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1185-6: For inclosing the court of Clipstone 60s., by the view of Humphrey de Bussei and Tom de London (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1186-7: For breaking up the vivarium at Clipstone 50s., and for carrying the fish from the same to another vivarium (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1186 - 7: money spent on repairing the park paling. (Crook , D. 1976. Clipstone Park and Peel. Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire 80. p35).


Richard I



1189: John ,Count of Montain (lthe later King John), visited Clipstone when he owned the royal estates in Nottinghamshire (Crook, D. 1976. Clipstone Park and Peel. Transactions of the Thoroton Society Vol. 80. P 44).

 

1194: March 29th “in the words of an early chronicler—Richard proceeded to view Clipstone and the Forest of Sherwood, which he had never before seen, and they pleased him much, and on the same day he returned to Nottingham” (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1194: April 2nd Richard I visits Clipstone and meets William the Lion King of Scotland. “ the King again proceeded to Clipstone to meet William, King of Scotland there, ordering, in the meantime, that all who were lately taken in the castles of Nottingham, Tickhill, Marlborough, Lancaster, and Mount St. Michael, should be brought together at Winchester, on the morrow after Easter”.

The following day, 3rd April, being Palm Sunday, the King remained at Clipstone on that account.


1194: Richard I visits followed by repair to the fish-pond at a cost of £12 (Colvin Vol II p 919)


1194: John ,Count of Montain (lthe later King John), visited Clipstone when he owned the royal estates in Nottinghamshire (Crook, D. 1976. Clipstone Park and Peel. Transactions of the Thoroton Society Vol. 80. P 44).




King John



1200: March 19th King John Visits Clipstone http://neolography.com/timelines/JohnItinerary.html


‘John's first visit to Clipstone as King took place in the first year of his reign. He was here on 19th March, 1200, and dated hence his charter to Nottingham, confirming grants made by him while Earl of Mortain. The following list of witnesses was appended thereto, and will be of interest as recording some few of the influential nobles in his company:—"Geoffry Fitz-Peter Earl of Essex, William Brewer, Hugh Bardolf, Robert Fitz-Roger, William de Stuteville, Hugh de Neville, Simon de Pateshull, Gilbert de Norfolk. Given by the hands of Simon, Archdeacon of Wells, and John de Gray, Achdeacon of Cleveland, at Clipstone, the 19th day of March, in the first year of our reign." ‘(Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1200: November 20th King John Visits Clipstone http://neolography.com/timelines/JohnItinerary.html


1200: During this same regnal year, in 1200, the men of Mansfield, commendably anxious to recover a lost right, offered the King fifteen marks for having Common of Pasture in the Park of Clipstone, as they were wont to have in the time of King Henry (II.) father of that King (John) before it was inclosed to make a park. At this time all favours, however just, requested of the King had to be accompanied by presents. Fifteen marks—a mark being two-thirds of a pound, 13s. 4d.—amounted to £10, a large sum in those days. For money had then about fifteen times the purchasing power it has at the present day, which would make the amount equal to £150. Probably they found themselves unable to subscribe this amount for the privilege, which consequently lapsed, for the following year the sheriff reported that the amount was unpaid, and we hear no more of it (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1201: March 6th - 7th King John visits Clipstone http://neolography.com/timelines/JohnItinerary.html


“The King again called at Clipstone this year, on 6th March, in which month four out of five of his recorded visits took place. We have, doubtless, a reference to this visit in the account of William Brewer, Sheriff, this year, in which occurs the cost of carrying the King's bacons from Clipstone to Northampton, 10s. 10d., and to the Chaplain of Clipstone 20s. of his livery, from the Sunday next before the feast of St. Nicholas (St. Nic. 6th Dec.) until the Sunday next before the feast of the Ascension (Ascen. 18th May in year 2) by the King's writ, and likewise 20s. to him from that time till St. Michael (St. Mich. 29th September.)” (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1204: At the latter end of this year, on 26th December, while at Tewkesbury, the King sent to the Sheriff of Notts., ordering him to procure out of his ferm,—the county ferm,—so much as was necessary for the repair of the Houses of Clipstone, by view, &c., the amount to be computed to him, &c. The plural, Houses, is constantly used in writs of this character, and itself conveys an impression of what the place was probably like— a collection of buildings for every purpose, perhaps added to a central or main structure as occasion arose, without fixed design; and at a short distance, within the Hays, the necessary buildings and outhouses of a mediaeval farm with houses or huts for the men (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1204-5: In the lists of lands of the Normans granted for this year, occurs to Richard de Lessington the Manor of Lessington or Lexington, and for Geoffry de Gors—probably he of 1189— the Vill of Clipstone, in the county of Nottingham (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1205: March 10th King John visits Clipstone http://neolography.com/timelines/JohnItinerary.html


The King paid his third visit this year on 11th March[?] It was doubtless on this occasion, and for the royal table, that the Sheriff conveyed wine here. For on 28th September following the King, while at Nottingham, directed his writ to the Barons of his Exchequer, ordering them to reckon with that official for that which he had expended in carriage of wine from Nottingham to eleven places, including two tuns to Clipstone (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1205: Chapel of St. Edwin endowed by King John (Crook , D. 1976. Clipstone Park and Peel. Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire 80. p35).


1206: The King on 10th March, while at Nottingham, directed the Barons of his Exchequer to reckon with the Sheriff for what he had expended—by the King's command and by view and testimony of legal men—in repairing the Houses of Clipstone (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1207: The King on 23rd May, being at Doncaster, directed his writ to Greoffry de Jorce, commanding him to release to Philip Minekan, or Munekan, the Houses of Clipstone, with the Hays, and the custody thereof, as also twenty librates of land, or land of the annual value of twenty pounds, which were formerly Ivon de Fontibus', but which were afterwards committed to him and Richard de Lexington. (The two latter are mentioned as Foresters two years earlier.) The said Philip was to have only 100s. to sustain him in the King's service, and was to answer to the King concerning the residue and concerning the Vill of Clipstone (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1207: On 28th July following, the King, while at Burton, sent intimation to Brian de Insula that he had commanded John fil Jordan, of Boston, to liberate unto him, or to a certain messenger, sixteen dolia or casks of the King's wines which were in his custody, to wit, twelve dolia of wine of Wascon' and four of Muisac'. Of these the said Brian was to convey three tuns of wine of Wascon' and one of Mussac' to Clipstone, and more to Scrooby, Lexington, and elsewhere. A dolium of wine contained fifty-two sextaries, each sextary consisting of four gallons (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1207: On 12th October following, from Marlborough, the King commanded his Barons of the Exchequer to settle with the creditor for fifteen dolia of wine, bought at need or occasion, and of which he had caused four dolia to be sent to Harestan and three to Clipstone,—others to Lexington, Southwell, Newark, Gringley, &c. (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1207: The King at the end of the year, on 27th December, being at Windsor, sent to the Sheriff of Notts., commanding him to allow to Philip Munekan money from the county ferm for the reparation of the Houses and Dam of Clipstone, which were in the custody of the said Philip (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1208-9: King John spent £42 on the house and fish pond (Colvin Vol II p 919)


1210: It is an unfortunate circumstance that the series of rolls from which many of these notes are taken, and by which the whereabouts of the King at almost any date may be discovered, are broken at this interesting period by the loss of those for the period of four regnal years—1208— 1212. Another kind of roll, however, for one year, the twelvth, 1210—11, is fortunately preserved, by which happily we are enabled to record another royal visit here. John was at Nottingham in November, 1210, for several days and until Tuesday in the feast of St. Andrew, which latter day is 30th November. On the Thursday following he was at Clipstone, whence he advanced half-a-mark to Thomas Fletcher de prestito, or by way of imprest, which however appears to be deleted. He also advanced twelve shillings, on the same day and in a similar way, to Robert de Percy and John de Winterburn for the expenses of the soldiers in Ireland. It is uncertain on what day the King left Clipstone, but he spent the following Sunday and Monday at Lexington  (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1211: December 2nd - 4th King John visits Clipstone http://neolography.com/timelines/JohnItinerary.html


1212: Legendary reference to Parliament Oak:


This is the year by which, perhaps, Clipstone is best remembered by most of us. The well-known historical story of the execution of the Welsh hostages by King John in 1212 is commonly understood, as evinced by scores of local works, to have had its inception here. The story goes that John, while hunting near Clipstone where he was staying, received tidings of a revolt against him among the Welsh, and also, directly afterwards, another communication apprising him of a conspiracy against him in the northern parts of England. Hastily summoning a council around him of the distinguished individuals in his company, they gathered under a tree thenceforth called the Parliament Oak. The King informed them of the nature of the communications, and, in a passion, demanded and received their consent to the execution of twenty-eight Welsh hostages then confined in Nottingham Castle, whose lives he appears to have considered forfeited. He then mounted his horse, and, followed by his company, rode with all speed to Nottingham where, by his orders, the whole number—their youth being ignored—were suspended in a row from the ramparts. John then, without delay, returned to Clipstone to dine and to resume his diversions.


Whatever may be the truth about this alleged deed of John's, I am afraid the idea of its connection, in any way, with Clipstone must be relinquished. None of the chroniclers, so far as I can find, record such a detail. Rapin, the authority sometimes given, does not connect the story with Clipstone. In short it seems more than probable that some local writer has connected the so-called King John's Palace and Parliament Oak with the incident of the executions, as a likely way of localising the episode. It cannot be definately stated that the story so originated, but I have been unable to trace it further back than the first Notts, directory, 1830. Still Major Rooke, it should be added, in his pamphlet on Sherwood Forest 1799, says the Oak is so called "from a tradtional account of a parliament or meeting having been held under it in the time of King John or probably Edward I," It is not pleasant, though expedient, to blot out local legends, and it is to be regretted that it cannot be finally decided whether King John was here in 1212, before 4th May or not, though it is certain he was not here after that date. It may be added that he was at Nottingham 6th to 9th July inclusive, again 14th to 21st August, and again on 10th September”  (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1214: August 8th Robert de Lexington, during the King's absence in France, was commanded by a deputy to cause what was needed to be done for the repair of the Lord King's Houses of Clipstone, by view of four lawful men,—whatever was so expended to be accounted to him at the Exchequer (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1215: January 11th while at the New Temple, London, commanded the Sheriff to provide payment for the two chaplains at Clipstone and Harestan, there ministering, by his command, for the soul of King Henry, his father. This note is of interest as the first intimation of the Chantry here, founded apparently by John (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1215: While the King was at Litchfield, on the 2nd April, he directed his writ to the Barons of his Exchequer, ordering them to reckon with Brian de Insula for that which Philip Monekan, sometime Keeper of his Houses of Clipstone, had by command expended. The same Brian was also to be settled with for what he had expended while himself held that custody, after the said Philip had been deposed. The different styles of spelling the late Custodian's name are but accountable variations of one word, well known as a surname in its modern form. The Anglo-Saxon 'mynecen,' the feminine of 'munuc,' are equivalent to the Latin 'monachus,' monk (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1215: March 26th - 27th King John visits Clipstone http://neolography.com/timelines/JohnItinerary.html


King John paid his last visit to Clipstone. He was here on the 26th and 27th; the 28th he was at Kingshagh; and on the 29th he was again at Clipstone. The latter date,— evidently a mere coincidence,—was the anniversary of the first visit of King Richard twenty-one years before, when Coeur-de-Lion was "much pleased" therewith. It is improbable but not impossible that John, being informed of the circumstance and perhaps already experiencing declining health, returned from Kingshagh to pass the day at Clipstone out of respect for his brother's memory (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1215: March 29th - 31st King John visits Clipstone http://neolography.com/timelines/JohnItinerary.html


1216: The King on the 25th February, while at Lincoln, issued writs to numerous constables, including one to the Constable of Clipstone, commanding them not to take the revenues of the lands or fees, in their respective bailiwicks, which were in the custody of William Brewer—that which had already been taken to be without delay rendered. This, if it is not another name for the Custodian or Keeper, is the only reference to such an official. It would be a decided acquisition if we could print, what a thorough search through the public records could alone supply, viz.: a list of all Chaplains, Keepers, Constables, and other officials of Clipstone, to which odd references will be found in divers places (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).




Henry III



1219-20: The Great pond of Clipstone was again repaired together with the mill and palisade round the buildings. (Colvin Vol II p 919)


1220: 1 May 1220 “Westminster. Nottinghamshire. To the sheriff of Nottinghamshire. The king  as committed to his beloved and faithful Brian de Lisle, chief justice of the king’s forests , the king’s houses of Clipstone and the same vill, to keep for as long as it pleases the king. Order to cause Brian to have full seisin without delay. Witness H. etc.” [Fine Roll C 60/15, 5 HENRY III (1220–1221). Available from: http://www.finerollshenry3.org.uk/content/calendar/roll_015.html] http://www.foresttown.net/index.php/heritage/clipstone-park-chronology/


1220: Henry, on the 23rd November, while at Winchester, directed the Barons of his Exchequer to reckon with Philip Mark, Sheriff, for seven pounds and eightpence, spent by him in reparation of the great Dam and Mill of Clipstone, and in repairing the Pale about the King's Houses there. Mr. Yeatman gives this amount, from the Sheriff's account, as £7 6s. 8d. (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1221: The King, on the 15th June, being at Blythe, directed the following writ to Brian de Insula: You are commanded to take with you a Verderer of the bailiwick of Clipstone and go to Clipstone to view the burnt houses of our poor men there; and allow the same men a reasonable allowance of building-wood to rebuild their houses, where there is a sufficiency of this,—at the least detriment to our Forest.

The above is an item of special interest. This, no doubt, is to what Thoroton refers when he says that Clipstone was burned it seems and repaired again before 5th. Henry III., 1220-1." He, however, is not quite right in setting the incident down as having happened before that year. These notes suffice to show that it took place during the year. Throsby, in his edition of—alias additions to— Thoroton, naturally wonders whether it was the 'palace' or the village that was burnt. We learn from the above that the houses of the King's "poor men," as he compassionately terms them— which at that time probably represented the village—were destroyed. But we have reason to believe that the Manor House was also destroyed in some measure. It seems, indeed, not unlikely that a large conflagration, such as would be involved in the case of the latter, perhaps spread to the outbuildings,—at least rather than the reverse. Until the "men"—doubtless feudatory tenants who claimed only to be tried at the court of their lord—had erected new huts they would probably have no roof to sleep under. The King seems to have recognised the urgency of their case for, on the 23rd June, only eight days after the above writ, while at Nottingham, he dispatched another to the same which only differed from the preceding in enjoining that the provision of the wood should be at the least detriment to the Forest above all (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1223: the king’s chamber was damaged by fire, and Master Robert de Hotot, one of the King’s carpenters, rebuilt it by taskwork for 15 marks. (Colvin Vol II p 919).


1223: The King, while at Westminster on the 7th February, wrote commanding the Sheriff of Notts., without delay, to make reparation of the King's chamber of Clipstone,—the cost so incurred, by view and testimony of legal men, to be computed to him at the Exchequer.

At the same time and place another writ was directed to Brian de Insula, commanding him to allow the Sheriff to have, for the purpose, building-wood from the Forest of Sherwood, whence it might be best procured. Whether the need for repairing the King's chamber was occasioned by the fire two years previously is uncertain. Probably it was; the reason that its repair had not been ordered earlier was because no likelihood of the monarch using it had appeared. Indeed, though the above mandate—which was repeated three months later, 6th May—seems to imply an intended visit on the part of his Majesty, none such took place. After searching a large number of records relating to this period I have been unable to discover that Henry, during his long reign of fifty-six years, ever visited Clipstone. If this is so—a matter for some surprise—he differed from both his three predecessors and his three successors. So in this respect he stands along in his line with Richard II., the last of the Plantagenets (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1225: November 12th. Hugh de Nevill was commanded to allow Brian de Insula to have —apparently for the second time—full seisen, or possession, of the Lord the King's Houses of Clipstone, with the Park, Hays, &c., and their appurtenances, which the King commits to his custody during pleasure (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1227: 31 August 1227 “Concerning the manor of Clipstone. The king has committed the manor of Clipstone to the sheriff of Nottinghamshire to keep to the king’s use for as long as it pleases the king. Order to B. [Brian] de Lisle to cause the money that he received to repair the king’s chamber of the same manor and has not yet put towards the repair to be delivered to the sheriff of Nottinghamshire, whom the king has ordered to cause that chamber to be repaired.” (Fine Roll C 60/27, 12 HENRY III (1227–1228). Available from: http://www.finerollshenry3.org.uk/content/calendar/roll_027.html) http://www.foresttown.net/index.php/heritage/clipstone-park-chronology/


1233: The Kings Chamber was again rebuilt at a cost of £130


From a subsequent account it appears that it stood on an undercroft. (Colvin Vol II p 919).


1235-6: The King, this year, committed the custody of the Honour of Peverel to Roger de Essex, and at the same time appointed him Custodian of the Manors of Kingshagh and Clipstone (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1236: 7 June 1236 “Concerning the manors of Kingshaugh and Clipstone. The king has committed his manors of Kingshaugh and Clipstone and the honour of Peverel of Nottingham with appurtenances to Roger of Essex to keep for as long as etc. , so that he answers at the Exchequer for all issues of the same. Order to the same Roger to attend to keeping them diligently and faithfully, and when Roger comes to the king it will be provided for him so that he might be sustained from this.” [Fine Roll C 60/35, 20 HENRY III (1235–1236).

Available from: http://www.finerollshenry3.org.uk/content/calendar/roll_035.html] http://www.foresttown.net/index.php/heritage/clipstone-park-chronology/


1236: September 1236 “Concerning the king’s manors handed over to Warner Engayne. The king has committed to Warner Engayne the manors of Clipstone and of Kingshaugh with appurtenances, both woodlands and other things, to keep for as long as it pleases the king. Order to Roger of Essex to cause him to have full seisin of the aforesaid manors with corn, stock and all chattels found therein.” [Fine Roll C 60/35, 20 HENRY III (1235–1236). Available from: http://www.finerollshenry3.org.uk/content/calendar/roll_035.html] http://www.foresttown.net/index.php/heritage/clipstone-park-chronology/


1237-8: The undercroft below the king’s chamber was divided up so that one part of the space could be used as a wardrobe (Colvin Vol II p 919)


1243-4: “The sheriff of Nottingham is ordered to build at Clipstone, a fair, great and becoming hall of wood, and a kitchen of wood, and a wardrobe for the queen’s use. Clipston, July 21.” (Turner Page 205 / Liberate Roll, 28, Henry III.) http://www.foresttown.net/index.php/heritage/clipstone-park-chronology/


1244-5: Henry II built a new timber hall , ‘large and handsome’, for the queen, together with a kitchen and a wardrobe, also of timber. Cost £134 (Colvin Vol II p 919)


1246-7: erection of a new chapel costing £26 13s. 4d. (Colvin Vol II p 919)


1246-7: The King committed to Robert le Vavassur, Sheriff of Nottingham, the Manors of Derlington, Retford, Clipstone, and Ragenhall (Ragnall), to be kept by him so long as it should please the King (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1247: January. “Concerning keeping manors. The king has committed the manors of Darlton, Retford, Clipstone and Ragnall to Robert le Vavasur, sheriff of Nottinghamshire. Order to Warner Engayne to deliver those manors to him to keep for as long as it pleases the king, as aforesaid.” [Fine Roll C 60/44, 31 HENRY III (1246–1247). Available from: http://www.finerollshenry3.org.uk/content/calendar/roll_044.html] http://www.foresttown.net/index.php/heritage/clipstone-park-chronology/


1249: August 24th. For selling the king’s wines. It is written in the same manner to the sheriff of Nottinghamshire concerning the king’s wines at Clipstone, and to the sheriff of Leicestershire concerning the king’s wine at Croxton.” [Fine Roll C 60/46, 33 HENRY III (1248–1249). Available from: http://www.finerollshenry3.org.uk/content/calendar/roll_046.html] http://www.foresttown.net/index.php/heritage/clipstone-park-chronology/


1249-50: The Sheriff of York commanded—by view of the Mayor, Bailiffs, and other upright men of the town of York—to sell the King's old wine at York. A similar command was issued, on the same occasion, to other Sheriffs including the Sheriff of Notts., who was commanded to sell the King's wines at Nottingham and Clipstone. This was a not uncommon precept, and is curious as showing the natural preference for freshness in wines as in other foods at the time, the modern enthusiasm over old vintages having not yet developed (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1251: Only the men of Clipstone had rights of pasture within the park. There was no access at all to the neighbouring hays of Birkland and Bilhaugh. These together with thw park, were administered directly by the king’s chief forest justice beyond the Trent, and were outside the control of the hereditary wardens of Sherwood, the Everinghams (Crook , D. 1976. Clipstone Park and Peel. Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire 80. p36).


1252: The ‘new chapel’ and the queen’s chapel mentioned when the King had them glazed with plain glass and wainscoted. (Colvin Vol II p 919)


Passage-ways were built to connect the King’s chamber to the hall and chapel, and the hall was furnished with benches. (Colvin Vol II p 919).


1252: December 13, Worksop. “The sheriff of Nottingham is ordered to make a wardrobe for the queen’s use at Clipstone, and a privy-chamber in the queen’s great chamber, and another privy-chamber at the head of the hall ; and to buy a chalice, vestments, books and other necessary ornaments for the new chapel; and to remove the high bench and the other benches in the new hall, and the small chimney in the great chamber and to make a chimney in the king’s wardrobe, through a mantel, and  hrough another mantel in the queen’s wardrobe by one and the same flue [per unum et idem tuellum]. http://www.foresttown.net/index.php/heritage/clipstone-park-chronology/


1252: The same sheriff is commanded to make a certain passage [alea] at Clipstone from the entry of the king’s chamber to the gable of the hall, and another passage to the new chapel, and a chamber on the other side of the same hall, with a privy-chamber and other necessaries : he is also to whitewash the king’s chamber, and to block up the window between the chimneys of the same chamber, and to bar the other windows in the said chamber with iron ; to put glass windows in the queen’s chapel, to wainscote and border the same chapel, and likewise the new chapel : and to build a great gate with a certain chamber above it, and a privy-chamber : and to remove the wall at the foot of the king’s bed, and make a certain privy-chamber for the king’s use, covered with shingles ; and to glaze all the windows in the privy-chambers of the king and queen. Same date”  (Page 235  and 236 / Liberate Roll, 36, Henry III) http://www.foresttown.net/index.php/heritage/clipstone-park-chronology/


1252: “The sheriff of Nottingham and Derby is ordered to break without delay, the wall at the foot of the king’s bed in the king’s chamber at Clipston, and to make a certain privychamber for the king’s use, and cover it with shingles. Westminster, October 21.” (Turner Page 262 / Close Roll, 36 Henry III.) http://www.foresttown.net/index.php/heritage/clipstone-park-chronology/


After 1252 Henry III ordered no new works at Clipstone, but the buildings were repaired from time to time during the remaining years of his reign. (Colvin Vol II p 919)


1255-6: The Sheriff was commanded, without delay, to seize into the King's hands the Manors of Clipstone in Sherwood and Melbourne, Derbyshire, which the King committed to Robert le Vavassour, sometime Sheriff of Notts, and Derby.

At the same time Roger Lovetot was appointed Custodian of the same manors, during the King's pleasure (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1265-6: In payment of Walter, Chaplain in the Chapel of Birchland, 40s., and two chaplains at Clipstone, 100s.—from the Sheriff's account. This is the first and only occasion on which two chaplains are mentioned, so perhaps it is an error (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).




Edward I



1279: Edward I at Clipstone (David Crook. 1976. Clipstone Park and Peel. Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire 80)


1279-80: Edward I built two new chambers with chapels for himself and his queen at a cost of over £400 (Colvin Vol II p 919)


Colvin suggests standing ruin may represent one or both of these new chambers. (Colvin Vol II p 919).


1280: Edward I at Clipstone (David Crook. 1976. Clipstone Park and Peel. Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire 80)


Raine, the Blyth historian, records that during the first five days of August, 1280, the writs of Edward are dated either in Sherwood Forest or at Clipstone (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1282-3: Edward I erected a stable for 200 horses at a cost of £104 8s. 5d. (Colvin Vol II p 919)


1284: Edward I at Clipstone (David Crook. 1976. Clipstone Park and Peel. Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire 80)


1287: Pigs allowed pannage in the park for the payment of a fee, as they were in the hays, but the accounts of the agisters who controlled pannage give no indication from which vills they came (Crook , D. 1976. Clipstone Park and Peel. Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire 80. p36).


1290: September 15th - 17th Edward I at Clipstone (Gough, H. Itinerary of Edward the First Throughout his Reign A.D. 1272 - 1307, Exhibiting his movements from time to time so far as they are recorded Vol II 1286 - 1307).


1290: September 20th - 22nd Edward I at Clipstone (Gough, H. Itinerary of Edward the First Throughout his Reign A.D. 1272 - 1307, Exhibiting his movements from time to time so far as they are recorded Vol II 1286 - 1307).


1290: October 11th - November 11th Edward I at Clipstone (Gough, H. Itinerary of Edward the First Throughout his Reign A.D. 1272 - 1307, Exhibiting his movements from time to time so far as they are recorded Vol II 1286 - 1307).


October Parliament at Clipstone called to rubber stamp the Kings Crusade and the date for departure was set as midsummer 1293 (Morris, M. 2000. A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain. Windmill Books. P228).


“Its accommodation must have been stretched to the limit, with he chancery and it’s clerks having to stay at nearby Warsop”  (David Crook. 1976. Clipstone Park and Peel. Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire 80. P35).


1290:  The King, in the autumn of 1290, with a design of proceeding to the borders of Scotland, summoned the Parliament to meet him at Clipstone on 27th October. This was done, possibly, with the idea of thus being nearer Scotland than would have been the case had he called the Parliament together in London. Yet it does not appear that he was over anxious to press in that direction, for during the year he was never more than a day's journey further north than Clipstone.


At the beginning of September he was at Geddington and Rockingham; on the 11th he was at

Hardby, in this county, where, in the following month, his consort Queen Eleanor died. From 13th to 17th he was at Newstead Priory; on the 18th and 19th at Rufford Abbey. On the 20th he was at his own house at Clipstone, which, however, he left on the morning of the 23rd for Dronfield. He remained in Derbyshire until 7th October, when setting out again for Clipstone, he arrived on the 12th and remained.


On 13th October he issued an order for payment of 200 marks from his treasury to Lapus de Pistoria and his associates, merchants of Pistoria.


Edward also issued hence, during this regnal year, and doubtless, if we could ascertain, about the same date, an order for payment of 3,000 marks from his treasury to Lapus Bonchi and Gradus Pini, of Pistoria. A much larger sum was ordered to be paid the following year, as mentioned below, which probably was also on the occasion of the present visit, which covered the commencement of the next regnal year.


On the 14th October, writing hence, the King protests that he intends to go to the Holy Land, and accepts the tenths granted for that object.


The King issued another writ hence dated on Monday next after the feast of St. Luke the Evangelist, which feast is on 18th October.


On 23rd October he issued a writ for the payment of the annual fee of Francis Accursius.


The following note concerning a certain Elias de Hanville and his one servant, taken from the royal accounts, is interesting if only as recording the rate of wages at this period. "To the same for the wages of one man and the expenses of one horse, bringing the jewels which came out of the wardrobe, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne into Scotland, and returning with them from Scotland to


Clipstone, from the 21st day of September to the last day of October—for 31 days—receiving per day 2d. for the man aforesaid, and for the horse 3d.—12s. 11d."


The Parliament was opened on St. Michael's Day, November; and the 251 pleas, with the petitions, then presented "before the Lord King," with the answers, cover twenty-one of the large folio pages of the printed Rolls—the roll for this occasion occurring as third in the work.


This— decidedly an event of the first importance in Clipstone's history, when probably a larger number of the nobility and great men of the kingdom were assembled than at any other time —the Parliament Oak was in all likelihood intended to commemorate. Whether the tree was planted in memory of the event, or what was the special connection, if any, between them, it is now impossible to say. The theory that the great national assemby was held around this tree, which careless writers continue to perpetuate, is almost too puerile to require correction.


Edward remained here until 11th November, and possibly one or two days later, but it is certain that he had left on the 14th. He was several days at Lexington, whence he removed to Marnham, and on the 20th he was again at Hardby. He was there up to the 28th, on which day the Queen breathed her last. She died of a lingering disease—a slow fever—and from this we can understand why the quietness and seclusion of Hardby should be chosen for her in preference to the presence of the King at Clipstone, where the Court and Parliament were to be held. The foregoing remarks, it should be added, refute the statement of certain of the chroniclers who aver that Edward was called from the borders of Scotland to the death-bed of his Queen (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1290-1: The King issued from Clipstone, this year, an order for payment of £10,000 to two merchants of the Ricardi of Lucca, in part payment of a loan. The loan itself, whatever the full amount, must at that period have repesented an enormous sum, such indeed as only a king would have been justified in contracting (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1290: In an "Account of the receipts of the lands in Tynedale and Cumberland lately held by Alexander III. (of Scotland), with a statement of how the money has been applied," we find that, besides a large sum expended at Lexington, £25 and 160 was spent in repairs on the Houses, Dams, and Weir of the Manor of Clipstone (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1299: This year the King, an accredited messenger being sent, viz., his treasurer the Bishop of Chester, wrote to the Queen and his son inviting them to keep the solemnity of the birth of our Lord at his Manor of Clipstone, near Sherwood. The Queen replied that she preferred to spend the holiday at St. Albans. However, upon consultation, the King kept his Christmas at Windsor, with his son and all his family. This unfortunate perverseness of Her Majesty has deprived us of an item of interest in local history. However, as this has been the scene of one royal celebration of Christmas, in the next reign, we must rest content.


Edward II., who commenced to reign 8th July, 1307, appears to have been really fond of Clipstone, for he was here on numerous occasions, the first time being about ten weeks after his accession—or rather his proclamation (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1300: Edward I at Clipstone (David Crook. 1976. Clipstone Park and Peel. Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire 80)

 

1301: reference to ‘the King’s wood of Clipstone called “le Parke” (Crook , D. 1976. Clipstone Park and Peel. Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire 80. p36).




Edward II



1307: Edward II at Clipstone (David Crook. 1976. Clipstone Park and Peel. Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire 80)


On the occasion of this visit the following documents were issued hence:—.


20th September.—The King, by Letters Patent, contitutes William de Carleton, Eoger de Hegham, and Thomas de Cantebrugg, Barons of the Exchequer, during his pleasure.

20th September. — King to the Sheriffs of England, ordering them to seize into the King's hands all the lands and tenements, goods and chattels, of Walter de Langton, Bishop of Litchfield, late treasurer of King Edward I.

25th September.—King asks the Sheriff of Gascony and the Constable of Bordeaux to ship 1,000 tuns of good wine for his Coronation, to be paid for by the Friscobaldi of Florence.

26th September.—King to Dionysius, King of Portugal, respecting the restitution of an English ship recovered by the Portuguese from some pirates.

With reference to this, the first, year of the King's reign, it may be added that among the documents formerly preserved in the office of the Queen's Eemembrancer is mentioned one entitled "Clipiston Regis: Compotus Thomae de Merke, servientis Domini Regis, in Manerio de Clipiston." Or in English—"Kings' Clipstone: The account of Thomas Mark, servant of the Lord King, in the Manor of Clipstone." A translation of this manuscript would doubtless prove extremely interesting (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1313: 24 October 1313 “Oct. 24 [1313]. Westminster. To John de Evre, escheator beyond Trent. Order to pay to Thomas atte Merk, keeper of the king’s manor of Clipston in Shirwode, the arrears of his wages, and to continue to pay the same, and to pay to the chaplain of the manor such salary as other chaplains have been wont to receive, and to repair the paling of the manor. By p.s.” (Page 22)  (JD -FT) Calendar of the Close Rolls AD 1313-1318 (EDWARD II) [1893]. Available from:https://archive.org/details/cu31924091068993 http://www.foresttown.net/index.php/heritage/clipstone-park-chronology/


1315: October 29th Edward II at Clipstone (Hartshorne, C. 1861. The Itinerary of King Edward II)


1315: October 31st  - November 26th Edward II at Clipstone (Hartshorne, C. 1861. The Itinerary of King Edward II)


Writs at Clipstone:


2nd November.—King, by Letters Patent,

grants that John de Luter be quit of Tallages, Aids, Watch and Ward, &c.

2nd November.—King of England complains to the King of France of the conduct of certain pirates of Calais.

2nd November.—Complaint to the same effect on the part of certain merchants of the Germanic Hanse in England.

4th November.—King forbids the men of the Bishoprick of Durham to make private truces with the Scots.

9th November.—King orders the arrest of all the Flemings within the realm, the period of their departure having expired.

10th November.—King grants that William Trent, King's Butler, be quit of Tallages, Aids, Watch and Ward, &c.

23rd November.—King indemnifies the Bishop of Durham for having lent him the Castle of Norham

(Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).



1315: November 28th - December 12th Edward II at Clipstone (Hartshorne, C. 1861. The Itinerary of King Edward II)


1315: 10 December 1315 “Dec. 10 [1315]. Clipston. To Robert de Cliderhou, escheator this side Trent. Order to repair the chimnies (camina) and houses in the manor of King’s Clipston and in the hermitage near the chapel of St. Edwin, where a hermit shall dwell by the king’s ordinance, and the ponds of the stews in the manor. By K. on the information of William Inge.” (Page 257) (JD -FT) Calendar of the Close Rolls AD 1313-1318 (EDWARD II) [1893]. Available from:https://archive.org/details/cu31924091068993 http://www.foresttown.net/index.php/heritage/clipstone-park-chronology/


1315: December 20th Edward II at Clipstone (Hartshorne, C. 1861. The Itinerary of King Edward II)


1315 -16: December 23rd - January 25th Edward II at Clipstone (Hartshorne, C. 1861. The Itinerary of King Edward II)


1316: February 27th  - March 14th Edward II at Clipstone (Hartshorne, C. 1861. The Itinerary of King Edward II)


6th March.—King commands that the ordinances, lately made by the prelates and nobles of the realm, be carefully observed.

10th March.—Letters Patent to stop proceedings in a dispute touching the Castle, &c., of Pool.

14th March.—King requests Amanenus de Lebret to attend the Parliament at London.

(Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1316: December 9th  - 10th Edward II at Clipstone (Hartshorne, C. 1861. The Itinerary of King Edward II)


1316: December 9th. Roger Mortimer at Clipstone. (Calendar of Patent Rolls 1313-17, p574) (Mortimer , I. 2004. The Greatest Traitor: The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer. Ruler of England 1327- 1330. Pimlico. P 306).


1316: December 13th -23rd Edward II at Clipstone (Hartshorne, C. 1861. The Itinerary of King Edward II)


Edward was here again in December, as witness the following, then issued.

15th December, Credence for the Bishops of Norwich and Ely, and others, specially recommended by the King to the Pope.

15th December.—King to 22 Cardinals, to the same effect as preceding.

15th December, Safe Conduct for the same persons going to the Pope.

15th December, Credence for the same persons going to the Pope.

16th December, Commission to the above persons to treat respecting the issues of Aquitain, assigned by the King to the late Pope Clement V.

20th December.—King of England regrets that he cannot be present at the Coronation of Philip King of France.

20th December.—King permits David Earl of Athol to take all the plunder he can win from the Scots.

20th December.—King orders a free passage to be provided for Roger de Mortimer and the troops going from South Wales into Ireland.

20th December.—A grant to the widow of Piers Gravestone.

About this date Edward left Clipstone for a few days, to spend his Christmas in Nottingham, but returning again early in the year, stayed until the middle of January or later.

(Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1316: December 18th. Roger Mortimer at Clipstone. (Calendar of Patent Rolls 1313-17, p574-5) (Mortimer , I. 2004. The Greatest Traitor: The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer. Ruler of England 1327- 1330. Pimlico. P 306).


1316: December 30th. Roger Mortimer at Clipstone. (Calendar of Patent Rolls 1313-17, p610) (Mortimer , I. 2004. The Greatest Traitor: The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer. Ruler of England 1327- 1330. Pimlico. P 306).


1317: January 1st - 16th Edward II at Clipstone (Hartshorne, C. 1861. The Itinerary of King Edward II)


1317: 4th January.—King gives authority to the Bishops of Norwich and Ely, and others, to grant pensions to the Cardinals in the King's, name.

4th January.—King requires fifteen of his nobles to go to Ireland to repulse the invasion of Edward de Brus.

4th January, King authorises the Bishops of Norwich and Ely, and others, to prorogue the period of his journey to Jerusalem.

4th January.—King forbids the holding of a tournament at Thetford.

4th January.—King orders the arrest of those who tourney at Thetford.

6th January.—King recommends to the Pope, Alexander de Bykenore to be Archbishop of Dublin.

It may here be mentioned that a Pope, having been chosen by the Conclave in August preceding, intelligence of the event was forwarded to Edward. A few selections from the orders for payments, in the royal accounts for this year, are appended:—

"To Adam Shirlock, coming to the King with letters from Sir Gilbert de Midelton, knight, and returning to the same with letters from the King —of the King's gift, at Clipstone, 6th January, 6s. 8d."

"To Amenenus de Pelagrua, Nuncio of the Pope, coming to our Lord the King at Clipstone, to announce the Creation and Coronation of his said Lord the Pope—of the King's gift, £100."

In the inventory of the jewels, a basin, chased and silver-gilt, with an ewer to match, by weight £3 14s. 4d., price £7 15s. 2d., is noted as having been presented by the King to Amenenus de Pelagrua, nephew of the Cardinal de Pelagrua and Nuncio of the Pope, at Clipstone on 8th January.

But to resume the calendar of writs issued on the occasion of this visit:—

7th January.—King to eight Cardinals, in favour of Alexander de Bykenore as Archbishop of Dublin.

7th January.—King to the Pope, in favour of William de Melton, Archbishop of York.

8th January.—King to Cardinal G., the Pope's Vice-chancellor, in favour of the same.

8th January.—King to the Pope, in favour of Thomas de Cherleton.

9th January.—Mandate to the Keeper of the King's Exchange.

10th January.—King to the Pope and Cardinals, in favour of John, Bishop of Winchester, his Chancellor.

10th January.—Proclamation against the introduction into the realm of clipped or false coin.

12th January.—King asks the Cardinals in the Papal court to forward the petitions presented by his ambassadors, to the Pope.

16th January.—King orders the arrest of all persons who tourney anywhere in England.

(Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1317-18: Edward II erected some new buildings within a ‘peel’ or enclosure in the southern part of the park. (Colvin Vol II p 919) including a barn, a cow-shed, and ‘other necessary buildings’. (Colvin Vol II p 919)


1318: August 18th - 20th Edward II at Clipstone (Hartshorne, C. 1861. The Itinerary of King Edward II)


1318: Edward was at Clipstone in August this year, and on the 18th he issued hence a Safe Conduct for the messengers of the Cardinals, going into Ireland. He was at Nottingham on 24th— 26th, but had again returned to Clipstone on 5th September, if not earlier, and on the 10th he wrote to Philip King of France, complaining in detail of the injuries done by the latter's subjects to the English (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1318: September 1st - 15th Edward II at Clipstone (Hartshorne, C. 1861. The Itinerary of King Edward II)


1318-19: Cattle disease Rinderpest killed up to 20% of the herd at Clipstone (Prestwich, M. 2005. Plantagenet England 1225 - 1360. Oxford University Press. p439).


1318 - 20: November 1318 to January 1320, John Dobman  paid 2d a day as special keeper of the park paling, in addition to the regular park keepers


1320: February 1st - 3rd Edward II at Clipstone (Hartshorne, C. 1861. The Itinerary of King Edward II)


1320: Cattle disease Rinderpest killed up to 40% of the herd at Clipstone (Prestwich, M. 2005. Plantagenet England 1225 - 1360. Oxford University Press. p439).


1320: Edward was here once more in the fore part of this year, and on 3rd February dated hence a commission to Thomas Earl of Kildare and three others, to inquire who rendered help to Edward de Brus in Ireland (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1319-20: The King in this, his 13th year, constituted Humphrey de Warden, Seneschal or Steward of the King's castles, manors, parks, &c., in eleven counties, including Gringley, Wheatley, and Clipstone in Notts  (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1320-1: Edward committed to Thomas de Mark (he of year 1 ?), during the King's pleasure, the custody of the Pale of Clipstone, with all lands appertaining to it. From this and subsequent notes it appears that the appointment of a special official to attend to the Pale—doubtless around the Park—had become a necessity. This, presumably, was on account of its great extent, or perhaps on account of the alterations and extension which appear to have been made to the Park some time during the latter years of this reign—alluded to later on. His duties evidently were to keep it, and probably also a foss or deer-leap outside it, in proper repair, to prevent the escape of the game: the holding of certain lands being vested in the office  (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1321 - 1323: May 1321 to November 1323, and then for an unknown period thereafter. Roger de Warsop paid 2d a day as special keeper of the park paling, in addition to the regular park keepers.


1323-4: The King this year constituted Humphrey de Walden and Eichard de Ikene, Stewards of his castles, &c., in twelve counties, including Gringley, Wheatley, and the Pale of Clipstone, with appurtenances, in Notts. Edward appears thus to have appointed two persons to the office previously held by one, in which office, however, he incorporated the erstwhile separate one of Keeper of the Pale. The first-named person, who had previously held the appointment alone, possibly had failed to give satisfaction, and the following year, by a special grant, his place was filled by another, as seen by the next note (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1324-5: The King constituted Richard de Winfarthing and Richard de Ikene, Stewards of his castles, &c., including the Pale of Clipstone, as above. The same Richard and Richard were further constituted Auditors of the Accounts (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).




Edward III



1327:  April 17th Edward III visited Clipstone (Ormrod, W. M. 2013. Edward III. Yale University Press. P 611).


1327: April. The King’s tenants of Clipstone presented him with a petition. They stated that from time immemorial they had been accustomed to take all the ferns growing in ‘a place which is now called the park of Clipstone’ for an annual payment of a mark, to collect fallen leaves without payment and to have pasture there for all kinds of beasts in return for two of their number performing the office of keeping the King’s vert and venison. They complained about ten years previously Edward II had enclosed the park, foregoing the income but causing them a loss equivalent to 100 shillings a year by leaving them with insufficient pasture. They had also lost the benefit of the ferns, which were strewn in sheep and cattle folds overnight and mixed with dung to form a valuable manure, and the leaves, which were used as a compost. The enclosure had therefore interfered with important parts of the agricultural cycle (Crook , D. 1976. Clipstone Park and Peel. Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire 80. p37).


1327: May.  An inquest into the claims made by the men of Clipstone in April 1327, held by John de Cromwell, the King’s chief forest justice, at Warsop in may ratified their claims(Crook , D. 1976. Clipstone Park and Peel. Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire 80. p38).


1327: August 28th Edward III visited Clipstone (Ormrod, W. M. 2013. Edward III. Yale University Press. P 611). Mark Ormrod suggests that a tournament was held at Clipstone by Edward III at this time (Ormrod, W. M. 2013. Edward III. Yale University Press. P 67). (RDP, iv, 376-8; E 101/383/3).

“After holding a tournament at Clipstone in Sherwood Forest at the end of August the king and his mother retired to Nottingham to await events”. (Ormrod Edward III p66) (Ann Paulini, 337; Tanquery, ‘The Conspiracy of Thomas Dunheved, 1327’ EHR xxi (1916), 119-24)*


1327: November 12-15th Edward III visited Clipstone en-route from Newstead Abbey to Blyth (Ormrod, W. M. 2013. Edward III. Yale University Press. P 611).


1327: November  27th -29th  Edward III visited Clipstone en-route from Blyth to Newstead (Ormrod, W. M. 2013. Edward III. Yale University Press. P 611).


Edward, like his father and predecessor, was at Clipstone in the first year of his reign, whence he dated the following:—

28th November.—King of England requests Charles King of France to do justice to William de Eydale, an English merchant, whose woad was arrested at Amiens.

28th November.—Safe Conduct for Bartholomew de Burghersh, Constable of Dover Castle, and William de Clynton, who was to accompany William Count de Hainault and his daughter Phillipa into England.

29th November.—King asks the Pope to confirm the decision of the dispute between the Archbishop of York and the Dean and Chapter, about the right of visitation.

(Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1327: “TNA E101/383/3 m.2. This notes gold thread purchased for decorating purple harnesses for the tournament at Clipstone...  The tournament probably took place between  15-16 November, when the King was at Clipstone (____)*


1327-8: Edward III had all the buildings which his father had erected in the peel dismantled and set up again near the manor house, with the exception of the greater gate of the peel, and the building over it’ which were to remain. (Colvin Vol II p 920)


1328: 25th August.—King presents Geoffry de Cotes to the church of Fishlake, during a voidance of the Prior of Lewes.

30th August.—The Sheriffs of London are to provide 120 targets, painted with the King's arms, and 120 crossbows, to be sent to John de Roches, Custos of Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, and Sark, for the defence of the said islands.

30th August.—King orders John de Roches, above-mentioned, to compel all bishops and others of Normandy who hold land in Guernsey, &c., to perform their homage and service.

30th August.—King orders the same John de Roches to complete the Castle at Girburgh in Guernsey.

(Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1328: August 26th. Roger Mortimer at Clipstone. (Calendar of Patent Rolls 1327-30, p351) (Mortimer , I. 2004. The Greatest Traitor: The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer. Ruler of England 1327- 1330. Pimlico. P 314).


1328-9: The King, for good service, &c., granted to Robert de Clipstone, the custody of the Manor and Park of Clipstone, with its appurtenances, to hold so long as he should well and faithfully perform his office. He was to answer to the Exchequer for the issues, and keep the Manor in repair at the King's cost, and the Park Pale at his own, receiving for the reparation of the said Pale, timber of the dry wood there, and taking every day for himself, the Parkers, and makers of the said Pale, 7d.

(Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1328: August 30th. Roger Mortimer at Clipstone. (Mortimer , I. 2004. The Greatest Traitor: The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer. Ruler of England 1327- 1330. Pimlico. P 314).


1328: January 9th-14th Edward III stayed at Clipstone en-route from Newark to Blyth (Ormrod, W. M. 2013. Edward III. Yale University Press. P 611).

...The following membrane, m.3, includes payments for six harnesses for the tournament at  Worcester between 25- 30 November 1327, and a harness for the tournament at Clipstone and Rothwell between 24 November- 12 December 1327. The King was at Clipstone on 29-30 November 1327 and 9-15 January 1328...” (Mortimer  2006.  P449)*


*Note there is some confusion between Historians as to which of Edward III’s stays at Clipstone in 1327-1328 was the occasion of the tournament.


“The dating of these in Mortimer, The Perfect King , 449, seems wrong: there are no dates in the accounts… The Clipstone dates make more sense if they are after Christmas rather than before Edward I I’s funeral” (Barber, R. 2014 Edward III and the Triumph of England. Penguin Books. p 573).


Therefore Barber suggests January 9th - 14th  1328 for the Clipstone Tournament.


 “We have detailed accounts for some of his equipment, such as the two suits of armour covered in purple velvet made for the Clipstone  tournament,  embroidered with 21,800  gold threads in a pattern of crowns and oak leaves at a cost of £8 3s. 4d. “ (Barber, R. 2014 Edward III and the Triumph of England. Penguin Books. p50).


“Clipstone is the first recorded instance of a very rare practice of jousting at night; there is one other known example in England later in Edward’s  reign, at Bristol on New Year’s Day 1358. The image of the young King riding out into the night, the torchlight glinting on the gold of his armour, is a harbinger of the highly visual nature of Edward’s later knightly celebrations” (Barber, R. 2014 Edward III and the Triumph of England. Penguin Books. p50).


1327-8: The men of Clipstone asserted that park was a recent enclosure made by Edward II. Their testimony was biased but Edward III accepted their case (Crook , D. 1976. Clipstone Park and Peel. Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire 80. p36).


1328: February 14th - 15th Edward III at Clipstone. (Ormrod, W. M. 2013. Edward III. Yale University Press. P 612).


1328: June 27th Edward III at Clipstone. (Ormrod, W. M. 2013. Edward III. Yale University Press. P 612).


1329-30: A mandate was dispatched to the Sheriff, this year, of which the following is a translation:—Intelligence is brought to us that the great Gate and Sluice of our Mill of Clipstone, at the head of our great Dam there, are very weak and ruinous, and that the bursting of that Dam and loss of our fish therein is to be feared, except the same Gate and Sluice are repaired and amended. You are commanded, therefore, to repair and amend the same, for which ten marks will suffice (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1330: August 29th - September 4th Edward III at Clipstone. (Ormrod, W. M. 2013. Edward III. Yale University Press. P 613).


1330: September 1st Roger Mortimer at Clipstone (Mortimer , I. 2004. The Greatest Traitor: The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer. Ruler of England 1327- 1330. Pimlico. P 317).


1330: September 22nd - 23rd Edward III at Clipstone. (Ormrod, W. M. 2013. Edward III. Yale University Press. P 613).


1330: September 22nd Roger Mortimer at Clipstone (Mortimer , I. 2004. The Greatest Traitor: The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer. Ruler of England 1327- 1330. Pimlico. P 318) before departing for Nottingham where he was captured on November 18th.


1330-1: Edward again, this year, issued Letters Patent for the Chantry in the Chapel within the Manor of Clipstone.

 (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1331: 25th - 27th July Edward III at Clipstone. (Ormrod, W. M. 2013. Edward III. Yale University Press. P 613).


1331: August 5th - 6th Edward III at Clipstone. (Ormrod, W. M. 2013. Edward III. Yale University Press. P 613).


1331: At Clipstone; Queen Phillipa heard an impromptu concert of singing by a group of women from Bilsthorpe (Ormrod, W. M. 2013. Edward III. Yale University Press. P 316).


1331: Edward made another call this year, and on 13th August wrote from Clipstone to four Cardinals, on behalf of Simon Archbishop of Canterbury.

During this reign, the particular year being uncertain, John de Sutton, of Warsop, presented a petition to Parliament which, from the reference to the King's father, may doubtless be placed well within the first ten years of this reign. As it is brief and explains itself, a translation in full of the petition, and the response to it, is appended:—

To our Lord the King and to his Council, showeth John de Sutton, Knight, that whereas he holds the Manor of Warsop of our Lord the King in Chief, and that the King has, during the last ten years, made an inclosure of his wood of Warsop, thus depriving the Manor of forty acres of soil, and holds it inclosed within, as part of, his Park of Clipstone,—to his great disinheritance, and to the impoverishment of his tenants, who ought to have Commonage there.

Answer: Let there be a writ sent to the Justice of the Forest, to make inquiry of the articles alleged in this petition, and of all other necessary matters, &c. Also let the records of the late King, our father, be searched, to see if something may not be found to stay John's action; the inquiry and certification to be returned into Chancery,—the King himself advises this.

Unfortunately we have no information as to the result of the inquiry. We do not even know if the petitioner recovered his forty acres of wood, or whether they remained in the Park. The King would probably use every endeavour to retain the land, as evinced by the above illustration of his personal interest in the matter.

(Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1332: October 9th  - 11th Edward III at Clipstone. (Ormrod, W. M. 2013. Edward III. Yale University Press. P 614).


1335: 11 April - May 2nd Edward III at Clipstone. (Ormrod, W. M. 2013. Edward III. Yale University Press. P 616).


9th April:? William Archbishop of York is directed to permit the cross to be carried in the province of York before the Archbishop of Canterbury, on his way to the Parliament at York (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


22nd April.—Safe conduct for John de Floto and Thomas of Bologna, Nuncios from the Pope Benedict XII., coming to England and Ireland (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


24th April.—King orders the Sheriffs of Notts, and Yorkshire te protect the Archbishop of Canterbury (bearing his cross) on his journey to the Parliament summoned to York, on the morrow of Ascension Day (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1336-7: The Jury, this year, said that Peter Witheberd, of Kings' Clipstone, had a messuage and one bovate and a half in Kings' Clipstone, by the service of 2s. 6d. per annum, according to the custom of the Manor of Kings' Clipstone, of the ancient demesne of the Crown, and William Witheberd was his son and heir, and above thirty years old.

(Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1337: May 19th - 25th Edward III at Clipstone. (Ormrod, W. M. 2013. Edward III. Yale University Press. P 617).


Edward III and Queen Phillipa were at Clipstone celebrating the marriage of one of the King’s esquires, Roger Beauchamp, with the queen’s damsel Sybil Patteshull. (Ormrod, W. M. 2013. Edward III. Yale University Press. P 128).


1339: While in Anderlecht Edward III ordered his ministers at home to speed up the current programme of improvements at Clipstone (Ormrod, W. M. 2013. Edward III. Yale University Press. P 102).


1339-40.—The King, for good service, &c., granted to his valet, Robert de Maule, the custody of his Manor and Park of Clipstone in Sherwood.

The same year an inquisition resulted in the report that Henry de Wytheton, chaplain, within the Manor of Clipstone, had by Letters Patent of the King, for his sustenance, five marks per annum, receiving it from the issues of the Manor aforesaid.

(Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1343: September 10th - 11th Edward III at Clipstone. (Ormrod, W. M. 2013. Edward III. Yale University Press. P 620).


1345: December 4th - 5th Edward III at Clipstone. (Ormrod, W. M. 2013. Edward III. Yale University Press. P 621).


1345: Edward was here again towards the end of this year, for on 10th December he directed hence a writ to his Treasurer, to deliver 51,000 florins to Peter Gretheved, for rewards to the Earls of Lancaster and Pembroke, and to Walter de Manny.
(Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1345: Money spent on hinges, hooks and plates for gates. Presumably for the park, (Crook , D. 1976. Clipstone Park and Peel. Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire 80. P 35), or maybe for the palace.


1348-9: works carried out included:



The roofing material was Mansfield slate. (Colvin Vol II p 920)


1350: September 20th - 24th Edward III at Clipstone. (Ormrod, W. M. 2013. Edward III. Yale University Press. P 623).


1350: Edward was yet again at Clipstone this year, and under date 20th September, he granted hence a License of Mortmain to the Hospital of St, John the Baptist, Nottingham.

(Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1350: “Sept. 23 [1350]. Clipstone. Grant for life to Robert Rotour, chaplain, of the chantry of the king’s chapel within the manor of Clipston, with the chapel of St. Edwin within the forest of Shirewode ; he taking for the chantry yearly by the hands of the sheriff of Nottingham as much as other chaplains, who have held the chantry, have been accustomed to take for the same.” Calendar of the Close Rolls, Edward III, Vol. 12. 1364-1368 [1910]. Available from: http://www.archive.org/stream/calendarofcloser12grea#page/n3/mode/2up http://www.foresttown.net/index.php/heritage/clipstone-park-chronology/


1354: August 26th - 31st Edward III at Clipstone. (Ormrod, W. M. 2013. Edward III. Yale University Press. P 624).


1355: Edward III refurbished the fishponds. (Ormrod, W. M. 2013. Edward III. Yale University Press. P 103).


1355-6: Robert Rotor or Rotour was appointed Chaplain, this year, at the henceforth, apparently, fixed annual stipend of one hundred shillings (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1358-9: The King, for good service, &c., granted to Richard de la Vache, the office of Seneschal or Steward of Sherwood Forest, and the custody of the Manor and Meadow of Clipstone, and of the Hays of Bestwood, Bilhagh, and Birkland, with appurtenances, to have for his whole life, receiving yearly, £10 12s. 11d.


The same year the King assigned Robert Rotor —described as 'clericus' or clerk, one in holy orders—to repair (or oversee the repairs of) the defects of the manor of Clipstone.


This was he who had been appointed Chaplain three years before. It may appear strange to us that a priest should be employed in an occupation of such a secular character, but that the practise was widely prevalent at this period we have ample evidence.


1360: over £140 were spent on general repairs to:



Including the chapel of St Edwin at Birkland which was served by the chaplain of Clipstone. (Colvin Vol II p 920)


1362-3: This year Richard le Vache, or de la Vache, received Letters Patent of the offices to which he had been appointed four years previously. The place of the term Meadow of Clipstone, in the original grant, is occupied by Park in the Patent, which seems to show that the phrases were synonymous (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1363: July 25th - 31st Edward III at Clipstone. (Ormrod, W. M. 2013. Edward III. Yale University Press. P 627).


1363-4: This year, in the calendar of Charter Rolls, occurs as No. 7, CLIPSTONE IN SHERWOOD. We know nothing further of this charter or of its character, but if it was granted to the Men and Tenants, as those of towns were granted to the burgesses, it is possible that privileges of an important character were conferred, such as the grant of their own vill at fee-ferm after the manner of a borough. Perhaps this supposition is an entirly erroneous one, but divers references seem to support it (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1366-7: Letters Patent were issued for Robert de Moreton, as Keeper of the Forest of Sherwood, and the Parks of Clipstone and Bestwood, and the Lodge in the Park of Bestwood, for life, with fees, &c. (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1367: further repairs by William of Elmesley who in 1360 had been appointed clerk of the works at the Manor of Clipstone and the lodge of Bestwood.  (Colvin Vol II p 920-1)


1367 -73: To entrances to the park mentioned in  the records, one towards Warsop and one towards Clipstone, and locks and keys for them (Crook , D. 1976. Clipstone Park and Peel. Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire 80. p35).


1372-3: The King granted to his Shieldbearer (scutifero) Nicholas Dabrichecourt, the custody of the Castle of Nottingham. On the same occasion, by another grant, he received the custody of the Forest of Sherwood, the Parks of Clipstone and Bestwood, the Manor of Clipstone, and the Lodge of Bestwood, during the King's pleasure; receiving per annum for the custody aforesaid, as wages, all fees paid for Expeditation of dogs and for Chiminage within the Forest,— also he might take as much dry wood for fuel as he may need.


Chiminage, or Chiminagium, was toll paid for passing through a forest, with carts or horses loaded. With regard to Expeditation, by the Forest Laws, persons dwelling within a forest were not allowed to keep greyhounds except by royal grant. Spaniels also seem to have been included in this ban, but little dogs might be kept. The intention was to exclude all dogs that might interfere with the venison, but, as it was found impracticable to forbid the keeping of house-dogs within the forest, residents were allowed to keep mastiffs on condition that they were so maimed that they could not chase the deer. This was effected by the operation known as Expeditation, which consisted in cutting off the three claws of the fore-foot. The keeping of dogs unlawed or inexpeditated was punishable by an americament or fine of three shillings, known as 'footgeld.'

(Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1375-6: William de Elmeley, 'clericus,' set over the works, which had been ordained, at Nottingham Castle, Bestwood Lodge, and Clipstone Manor.

(Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1376: William Witheberd—probably the son and heir of Peter, as mentioned in 1336-7—held one bovate in Clipstone. This note, in default of access to the original publication, is taken from Curtis's Notts.

(Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1376-7: Letters Patent issued for Nicholas Danbridgecourt—doubtless he of four year previously—of the offices to which he was then appointed.

(Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).





Richard II



1375: further repairs by William of Elmesley  (Colvin Vol II p 921)


1382-3: John Davy, Chaplain in the Chantry of Clipstone (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1383-4: William Witheberd, son and heir of William (doubtless he of 1376), was found to have contravened the laws under which he held his land, having aliened a bovate and two messuages to John Wytheberd his brother, without the King's license, which John did no service.


1387: Richard II at Clipstone (Crook , D. 1976. Clipstone Park and Peel. Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire 80. p35).


1391-2: An inquisition having been held to inquire whether the Manor and Vill were ancient demesne of the Crown, the jury reported that the Vill of Clipstone, in several parcels of accounts of collectors of fifteenths, &c., appeared ever to have been taxed among the boroughs and demesnes of the King. Though this verdict was a true one so far as it went, Clipstone would never have been recognised as ancient demesne in a court of law. For though it appears, in some way, to have assumed that reputation, yet it is not mentioned as land of the King in Domesday Book—the condition which alone decides ancient demesne.


1393: Richard II at Clipstone (Crook , D. 1976. Clipstone Park and Peel. Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire 80. p35).




Henry IV



1400:  By agreement this year George [de] Dunbarre, Earl of March, or Earl of the Marches of Scotland, promised to transfer his homage to the King of England, who, in return, granted him the Castle of Somerton and the Manor of Clipstone, with appurtenances, for life.


The document was drawn up in quaint old English, commencing as follows:


This Endenture Maad at the Toune of the Newe Castil opon Tyne, the xxv day of the Monyth of Juyl, the Zere, Frome the Incarnation of oure Lorde Jesu Crist, a Thousand and Four Hundreth,

Between the Noble and Mythty Prince Henry, by the Grace of God, Kyng of England and of France, Lorde of Ireland, on the ton syde, and his Cousin George de Dunbarre, Erie of the Marche of Scotland, on the tother syde, etc.


(Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1401: Henry IV gave the manor for life to George Dunbar, the Scottish Earl of March, who had lost his estates by joining the English cause, but it is doubtful whether he ever obtained possession.  (Colvin Vol II p 921)


1401: June 28th—The grant by which the Manor passed to the Earl bears this date. By a writ dated 20th July the King allows him to enter and stay in England (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1409-10.: John Bever, about this year, held a toft and bovate in Clipstone, in Free Burgage, by the service of 12d. per annum, as parcel of £4 10s. per annum, the ferm of the Town of Clipstone (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).



Little done to the site during the reigns of Henry IV or Henry V  (Colvin Vol II p 921)




Henry V



1414-15: The only note we have of the reign of Henry V., whose years commence on the 21st March, is in the King's Letters Patent to the Abbot of Rufford, in which he confirms the possession of lands by the Abbey with their bounds, &c., and among other provisions then confirmed, 'the men of the Manors of Clipstone and Edwinstowe may take nothing in the wood of the said Abbot within the Forest of Sherwood.' (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).




Henry VI



1434: The King’s council authorised an issue of £200 for repairs (Colvin Vol II p 921)


1435 - 1446: over £650 was spent on the buildings by William Clerk of Gedling as local deputy to the Clerk of the King’s Works. (Colvin Vol II p 921)


According to the summarised enrolment of his account (which is all that survives) the money was spent on repairs and on ‘making a certain new tower within the said manor and other new buildings’. (Colvin Vol II p 921)


1444: The Manor was again in the hands of the Crown, for on the 16th July, 1444, Geoffry [de] Kniveton was made Keeper of the Castles at Nottingham and Rockingham, and of the Manor of Clipstone, and the Lodge of Bestwood in Sherwood, for life.

This was by no means the commencement of Kniveton's connection with the Forest: probably the above was but a formal confirmation of what he had long held. The Castle of Nottingham, with Sherwood Forest, &c., was granted on the 4th March, 1403, to Henry IV's Queen, Joan of Navarre, who held the same for many years after his death. She brought an action against a Nottingham man in 1431, for the ferm of the Chiminage of the Forest, which she had let to him. She then appeared by Geoffry Kneveton and Robert Clapham, her attornies. There are many actions entered by her in the Nottingham Court Rolls for agistment, hay, &c. Geoffry Kneveton —presumed to be the same man—was Mayor of Nottingham in 1446-7. The reason of the preposition 'de' being not regularly prefixed to the surname of this official is because the custom was dying out at the beginning of this century (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1445: The following is an abstract of the translation of a grant, by Letters Patent, to Ealph Lord Cromwell, Knight, bearing date the 1st February:—

The King, for good and noble service many times rendered, grants to the said Ralph the office of Constable of Nottingham Castle, the office of Steward and Keeper of the Forest of Sherwood, and of the Parks of Bestwood and Clipstone, and of the Woods of Bilhagh, Birkland, Rumwood, Ouseland, and Fulwood; also the Mills of Nottingham, called the Castle Mills, and the Rivers of Trent and Leen and the free fishery in the same, and all our meadows under the Castle there, pertaining to the office. Also the same Ralph is to have all chattels waived and estrays arising within the said Forest and Woods, and all Chiminage in the said Forest, Parks, and Woods. Also all Fines, Issues, and Amerciaments of our Men and Tenants within the Forest arising, and forfeitures for the not lawing of their dogs, called Dogsilver, as well before our Justices of the Forest as before other Justices or Ministers. To hold all the above, of us and our heirs, by Fealty only for all Services.

Ralph Lord Cromwell died 4th January, 1455, leaving no issue.

It may here be added, also, that this does not represent the commencement of Cromwell's association with Sherwood. In 1440-1 he brought an action—doubtless in his official capacity—against a Nottingham butcher for breach of Bestwood Park, and there are numerous other actions by Cromwell, entered on the Nottingham Rolls, wherein he sues for herbage, &c.

(Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1452: This year the whole Township left the Crown, though the grant, again, was only for the life of the recipients. The King granted to Edmund Earl of Richmond and Jasper Earl of Pembroke, in fee, the Manors of Mansfield and Linby in Sherwood, and the Manor, Demesne, and Vill of Clipstone in Sherwood, also the demesnes of Harestan and Bolsover, Derbyshire.


These estates were settled on them when their titles w$re granted, which was on 23rd November, 1452. The former was created Earl of Richmond, with precedence before all other earls. He was brother, by his mother, to the King, Henry VI. He died on the morrow of All Souls' Day, 3rd November, 1456, when his share of the estates, of course, reverted to the other. Though the local association of this distinguired individual was not long, it will not be forgotten, for the son and heir which he left—Henry aged fifteen weeks—was afterwards King Henry VII.


Jasper, Earl of Pembroke, was his brother, and was afterwards, 27th October, 1485, promoted to the dignity of Duke of Bedford.


From the following, it may be gathered that some interest in the Manor was yet retained by the Crown.

(Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


1453: Manor granted to the King’s half-brothers the Earl of Richmond and Pembroke, but they were deprived by Edward IV who gave it to his brother George Duke of Clarence.


1471-8: It has been recorded that Lord Gervase Cilfton, Esquire of the Body to Edward IV—who died 12th May, 1491, and was buried at Clifton—was Sheriff of the counties of Notts, and Derby, in that monarch's 11th and 17th years, 1471-2 and 1477-8. Also that he was Eeceiver General of these counties, Steward of the King's Manors of Gedling, Shelford, Stoke Bardolph, &c., and Surveyor of the works and repairs in his Castle of Nottingham, and his Lodges of Barkwood (Bestwood ?) Park and Clipstone (Stapleton, A. 1890. A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire).


3D models of Palace and Finds

King John's Palace, Clipstone, Nottinghamshire by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC on Sketchfab

Display Boards, tour guides and leaflets

Mercian have helped to produce interpretation panels which are now installed around the palace site and surrounding landscape alongside our partners the Sherwood Forest Trust, The Friends of Thynghowe, and the site owners Mickie and Martin Bradley. We have also produced a number of flyers and tour guides about King John’s Palace and the surrounding landscape. As part of our commitment to sharing knowledge and promoting the site these can now be seen online below:

NEW King John’s Palace Interpretation panels now installed at the site.