Thursday, 29 September 2011

King John's Palace

  Picture: The ruins of King John's Palace, King's Clipstone, Sherwod Forest Nottinghamshire.

In the heart of Medieval Sherwood Forest lies the Royal Deer park of Clipstone.

This royal park was the centre of royal hunting and politics in Sherwood Forest from the late 12th to the end of the 14th century. 

The park and its royal palace -also known as the King's Houses (and later King John's Palace) was visited by all eight monarchs from Henry II to Richard II.

It was the scene of parliament and was used by Richard I to entertain William the Lion, King of Scotland.

Much archaeological work has recently been undertaken by Archaeologist Andy Gaunt now of Mercian Archaeological Services CIC, and subsequently by Channel Four's Time Team.

An excavation of the western boudnary of the palace site was undertaken by Gaunt and Wright with David Budge and Ben Crossley in the summer of 2012.

This uncovered a substantial Medieval boundary ditch which had been detected in the preceeding geophysical survey of the site by Gaunt in 2010.

Results from this excavation will be presented through this site soon.

Perhaps the most work undertaken on the site has been by James Wright, Senior archaeologist (built heritage) at the Museum of London Archaeology, and former Archaeological and Historic buildings officer at Nottinghamshire County Council.

James's expertise in Archaeology, castles and historic buildings along with his previous experience as a stone mason has led to much research and new interpretations of the site. Some of this work is summarised in his book the Casltes of Nottinghamshire- recommended by this site.

In no small part due to his efforts the site was consolidated and repaired through a partership between English Heritage and Nottinghamshire County Council.

This site is probably the most important in Medieval Sherwood Forest, alongside Laxton Castle, the old town of Nottingham, and the surviving woods of Birklands and Bilhaugh.

The full history of the site and the archaeology undertaken there is available through the wikipedia page on King John's Palace that James Wright has authored:

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