Building record M4100 - Medieval hunting lodge (King John's Palace), Clipstone


HUNTING LODGE (Medieval to Tudor)


Grid reference Centred SK 60338 64767 (14m by 21m)
Map sheet SK66SW
District Newark
Civil Parish Clipstone, Newark


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

Standing in a field of oats. No cropmarks visible. Main wall 27yds long ... NE section at right angles to main wall 5yds long, SW section at right angles to main wall 10yds long, both on the SE side of main wall. Walls about 7ft thick of rough stone and mortar. At the E extremity of the S section on the S side is a well formed arch over a 2ft deep niche, about 10ft high formed of flat stones with keystone. The arch is of Norman shape. Owner tells me walls are crumbling, a large piece fell on its side 2 winters ago. Wall sections vary in height, about 17ft high at westernmost point, 12ft at S, 20ft at N. About 200yds to E is a ditch said by owner to have been dug for trout breeding. Apparently a single rectangular building. The main wall has traces ... of openings for windows and doors. The masonry and such detail as remains could well be C12 or C13. (1)
Known as "King John's Palace", the principal royal hunting lodge of Sherwood Forest, to which there are many documentary references between its construction in the later C12 and its decay in the C16. Today there is only a ruin with no datable features in the masonry, which stands to a height of 10ft and encloses an area of 58ft by 20ft. Nearby is a large hollow which was probably a fishpond. Trenching showed that this ruin was part of a large complex of several periods of construction, the earlier ones represented by post holes and timber slots, and the later ones by many robbed walls. The ruin was shown to be the undercroft of a large building, which was probably the principal one constructed by Edward I in 1279-80. There are joist holes for the upper floors, and the roof of the undercroft was supported on 4 large columns, spaced evenly along the centre of the long axis of the building. There was a palisade ditch, ?/2 ft wide and 9ft deep, around the earlier buildings. (2)
No architectural features survive which enable any dating of the structure which is in a dangerous condition. Area recently ploughed (see L 8588). In my opinion the scheduled area should be extended and steps taken to preserve the fabric of the building. (3)
There are several post-holes, pits, and beam-slots filled with the buried soil, and some of these yielded sherds of C12-early C13 date. These features may represent the earliest buildings, of wholly timber construction, or may be ancillary to the first stone building, which is most likely to be that built in 1176-80 by Henry II. …confirmed by the finding of a (stone) animal head of the late C12. (5)
Repairs carried out 1991. (11)
The principal royal hunting lodge in Sherwood Forest … after Henry I's reign. First documented as such in 1164 and already decayed by 1525. (12)
Named 'Ruins of King John's Palace' (13)
Ruins of hunting lodge. c.1164.
It is apparent that the condition of the building is fragile… There is significant salt damage which is reducing the wall profile at ground level. (14)

Data Held (Document). SNT2647.

Photocopy, (5), Parish file

Data Held (Document). SNT2647.

OS card, Parish File

Data Held: Aerial Photograph (Aerial photograph). SNT2645.

CCX 3215/13

Data Held: Aerial Photograph (Aerial photograph). SNT2645.

CCX 3215/12

Data Held: Ground Photograph (Ground photograph). SNT2646.

14 colour print, negs E99/5-E100/2 (4 with no negs), SMR

Listed buildings slides, 24 slides (Photograph). SNT2648.

<0> Thoroton Society, 1898, TTS, p 20 (Published document). SNT326.

<0> Thoroton Society, 1990, TTS, p 18-22 (Published document). SNT1526.

Peter Billson, 30/5/91, King John's palace, repair scheme (Plan). SNT4325.

<1> DOE, AM7 - undated, no author (Unpublished document). SNT52.

<2> Rahtz P, 1957, Med Arch, pp 162-3 (Published document). SNT1171.

<3> Samuels JR, 1986, AM107 (Unpublished document). SNT1231.

<4> Cox CD, Air photos (Aerial photograph). SNT587.

Other Refs: 3215/12,13

<5> Thoroton Society, 1960, TTS, pp 21-43 (Published document). SNT374.

<6> Thoroton Society, 1955, TTS, pp 98-9 (Published document). SNT369.

<7> Colvin HM, 1963, History of the King's Works, p 920 (Published document). SNT179.

<8> Seaman BH, 1974, Pers Comm (Personal comment). SNT1252.

<9> Throsby J, 1790, Thoroton's History of Notts Vol 2, p 173 (Published document). SNT1346.

<10> White R, 1904, The Dukery Records (Published document). SNT1414.

<11> Baddeley V, 2002, Pers Comm (Personal comment). SNT1520.

<12> Pevsner N, 1979, The Buildings of England: Nottinghamshire 2nd ed. (Monograph). SNT4.

<13> Sanderson G, 1835, 20 miles around Mansfield - 2 in (Map). SNT48.

<14> Wright, J and Mordan, J, 2005, A Condition Survey of King John's Palace, King's Clipstone (Unpublished document). SNT4661.

Sources/Archives (23)

  • <0> Published document: Thoroton Society. 1990. TTS. 94. p 18-22.
  • --- Aerial photograph: Data Held: Aerial Photograph.
  • --- Aerial photograph: Data Held: Aerial Photograph.
  • --- Ground photograph: Data Held: Ground Photograph.
  • --- Document: Data Held.
  • --- Document: Data Held.
  • --- Photograph: Listed buildings slides. 24 slides.
  • <0> Published document: Thoroton Society. 1898. TTS. 2. p 20.
  • --- Plan: Peter Billson. 30/5/91. King John's palace, repair scheme. A3. scaled and inked.
  • <1> Unpublished document: DOE. AM7 - undated, no author.
  • <2> Published document: Rahtz P. 1957. Med Arch. pp 162-3.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Samuels JR. 1986. AM107.
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Cox CD. Air photos.
  • <5> Published document: Thoroton Society. 1960. TTS. 64. pp 21-43.
  • <6> Published document: Thoroton Society. 1955. TTS. 59. pp 98-9.
  • <7> Published document: Colvin HM. 1963. History of the King's Works. 2. p 920.
  • <8> Personal comment: Seaman BH. 1974. Pers Comm.
  • <9> Published document: Throsby J. 1790. Thoroton's History of Notts Vol 2. p 173.
  • <10> Published document: White R. 1904. The Dukery Records.
  • <11> Personal comment: Baddeley V. 2002. Pers Comm.
  • <12> Monograph: Pevsner N. 1979. The Buildings of England: Nottinghamshire 2nd ed.. Penguin.
  • <13> Map: Sanderson G. 1835. 20 miles around Mansfield - 2 in.
  • <14> Unpublished document: Wright, J and Mordan, J. 2005. A Condition Survey of King John's Palace, King's Clipstone.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (19)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Jan 19 2023 7:34PM

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