Friday, 15 March 2013

Clipstone Peel and Spa Ponds in Sherwood Forest

The Spa Ponds- Medieval fish ponds in Clipstone Park (near Forest Town).

On the western edge of the former royal deer park of Clipstone, in the heart of Sherwood Forest- are a series of large ponds fed by a spring and a tributary of the River Maun. They are overlooked by steep slopes of ground to the east which once housed a fortification built by Edward II in the early 14th century. 

The Spa Ponds- Medieval fish ponds in Clipstone Park (near Forest Town).
For more photographs of the Spa Ponds please see the Facebook album

This fortification was Clipstone Peel- built as a refuge during 'a time of political turmoil. The peel was constructed in timber except for a stone gatehouse. When the peel was dismantled during the reign of Edward III, the gatehouse was left standing, and the small ruin known as Beeston Lodge is now all that remains' (Wright, 2008). 

The remains of the gatehouse to Clipstone Peel

Overlooked by this fortification the ponds were kept for provision of fish for the king- and represent a massive undertaking by the crown. They are a hugely important part of local medieval heritage, and are an important part of a national story relating to the time of Edward II. 

The area is now the ‘Spa Ponds Nature Reserve’ under lease to the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. The site now lies within Forest Town- and the Community wishes to purchase the site and to 'improve and enhance it for nature conservation, community access, and as part of the heritage work taking place throughout Nottinghamshire'. The community is looking to raise funds for this purchase and an appeal has been launched following a pledge by Forest Town- based Charity CIICI (Community Involvement in Green Infrastructure). To learn about their aims and maybe to pledge support to their campaign please visit