Welcome to Heart of Ancient Sherwood, a site dedicated to the history of Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire.
If you have any questions, please email us at:
As residents Kings Clipstone we are proud of the history of our community but very concerned that neglect is ruining our heritage and environment.
Our community led campaign aims to :-
make the wider community aware of the unique position that the village occupies within Sherwood and its important past.
King John’s Palace – a far more important building than previously thought but in threatened by complete collapse.
This photo was taken in the 1950s showed the ruins of Beeston Lodge, which is thought to be the gatehouse of the original pele built above the Spar Ponds. Neglect and vandalism destroyed these last stahding walls leaving just a pile of stones on the ground.
The same fate awaits the remains of the Flood Dykes and the ruins of Kings John’s Palace if action isn’t taken now.
Some of the residents of Kings Clipstone and Clipstone Village who turned out on Saturday 10th March 2007 to clear up Intake Wood. The wood, which is open to the public, has been taken over by Newark & Sherwood Council who plan with the help of the local community turn into a local nature reserve. This is a great facility right at the heart of our communities and much loved by local people. We had already put up bird and bat boxes sponsored by residents and decided it was time to do something about the fly tipping and litter from the building sites that has spoiled parts of the wood.
It is great to see the way the community has turned out to support us. With well over 30 people helping we managed to do far more than we expected. We were even able to tackle the parish council land at the side of the wood. Newark and Sherwood Council provided a skip but we managed to gather enough to fill three skips. It just shows what can be done when the community comes together.
The Air Cadets were a great help.
A circular route of about 4.5 miles along Archway Road to Birklands, then via Sherwood Forest Farm Park and the Maun Valley before returning to the village along Squires Lane.
Starting at the Dog & Duck pub, follow Archway Road.
Alternative starting point – Sherwood Forest Farm Park(9) which has a car park and tearoom that groups can use by prior appointment – phone 823558. Open April to early October.
1. The signalbox is one of the finest examples left in the county. If you turn and look at the field you will see how uniform the slope is. Between 1819 and 1838 the Duke of Portland spent almost £40,000 on a 8 Mile irrigation scheme called the Flood Dykes to create water meadows on the dry and sandy land. Huge amounts of earth were moved to smooth the fields and move the river, with an irrigation canal being excavated along the top. The road now takes you under the railway. The smaller arch allowed the Flood Dyke to pass under the railway. At the junction ahead turn left under the railway bridge. All the fields on this side of the river were part of the irrigation scheme so show the same sort of uniform slope.
2. The bridge across the River Maun is called Forge Bridge and is believed to be the site of one of the iron forges and slitting mills found along the river around 1650. Forges need a good supply of charcoal and waterpower to work the hammers and bellows. In a 20 year period from 1640 the forest was plundered of most of the tress and fencing to make charcoal.
3. Archway Lodge was built by the Duke of Portland to prove the durability of the stone from his Mansfield Woodhouse quarries, after it had been rejected for the rebuilding of the Houses of Parliament following the fire of 1835. The outside of the building is a copy of the Worksop Prior gatehouse but instead of saints the niches are adorned with figures from forest folk-law. This was supposed to be the first of several lodges spanning a private drive form Welbeck to Nottingham but no more were built. The building was sited so that the centre tree 1.5 miles away along Green Ride could be seen through the arch but trees now block the view.
4. Follow the road up to the A6075 and cross. Take the track bearing left along the edge of the forest. This is the forest of Birkland, some sections have very old oaks. When you reach a path crossing the track, turn left.
5. Follow the path until you come to a cross on your left (on the forest edge) marking St Edwins chapel and hermitage.
6. Turn left at the next track, which will take you back towards the A6075, crossing into King’s Wood, follow the permissive path through the wood.
7. The path emerges opposite the entrance to the Sunday Market and the Farm Park. There are good views over ancient Clipstone Park – the royal hunting park was 7.5 miles in circumference.
The farm park, open from April to early October has a tearoom and car park that groups can used by prior arrangement 01623 823558.
8. Follow the road way down the hill past the Farm Park. Still going down hill you will pass through a gate with a sign stating that it is locked at dusk. There is a fine old wood to the right with Iron-age pigs roaming in an enclosure.
9. The road continues to drop into the valley, then turns right for a short way before turning left past the one of the fishing lakes. The walk crosses the river and ascends the hill. At the fork in the track bear left. With the beech wood on your right continue up the hill. On the top, cross over the next track and take the footpath through Cavendish wood. The farm yard is not a right of way. Emerging from the wood turn left along the track. Cavendish Lodge and farm are the next building you pass.
10. The old barn has two fine horse draw wagons in it. Follow the road round to the right. This is Squires Lane.
Please remember that the barn is private property, you may only look from the path.
11. At the bottom of the dip look left to the back of the field. The hedge is on an embankment that was the dam for the old fish pond. Half way down the lane are Old Barnside Cottages, parts of which may date to 1730 when Clipstone Hall stood on what is now Old Barn Court. At the end of Squires Lane the village proper begins. The walk joins Gorsethorpe Lane then turns left onto the B6030.
12. Across the road can be seen one of the few iron chapels left in the area. Behind the chapel are the ruins of Kings John’s Palace.
13. As you move across the embankment towards the Dog & Duck pub, to the right is the water meadow. From before 1180 for about 600 years this was the site of the half a mile long Great Pond of Clipstone. The remains of the dam are to the left of the road. The 1180 record also mentioned a mill situated at the bottom of the slope where Vicar Water joins the river Maun.
A circular route of about 8.5 miles along Bog Lane and Archway Road to Birklands, then via Sherwood Forest Farm Park and the Maun Valley before returning to Vicar Water past the Spa Ponds.
1. Starting by the visitors centre at Vicar Water Country Park take the left hand exit from the car park towards the lake.
Alternative starting point Sherwood Forest Farm Park(13) – car park and tearoom which groups can be use by prior arrangement – phone 01623 823558.
(Open April to early October only)
2. Skirting the lake continue going north on the national cycle route.
3. After Baulker Lane the route enters Kings Clipstone, the entrance on your left to Waterfield Farm marks the southern end of the Great Pond of Clipstone. The pond predates 1180 when it first appeared in records, when repairs were carried out. The pond stretched all the way to the road embankment you can see in front of you.
4. On the hill to your left are the remains of King John’s Palace which served as a home to all the Plantagenet kings.
5. Follow Bog Lane to the Dog & Duck -cross the B6030 take Archway Road.
6. The signal box is one of the finest examples left in the county. If you turn and look at the field you will see how uniform the slope is. Between 1819 and 1838 the Duke of Portland spent almost £40,000 on a 7.5 Mile irrigation scheme called the Flood Dykes to create water meadows on the dry and sandy land. Huge amounts of earth were moved to smooth the fields and move the river, with an irrigation canal being excavated along the top. The road now takes you under the railway. The smaller arch allowed the Flood Dyke to pass under the railway. At the junction ahead turn left under the railway bridge. All the fields on this side of the river were part of the irrigation scheme so show the same sort of uniform slope.
7. The bridge across the River Maun is called Forge Bridge and is believed to be the site of one of the iron forges and slitting mills found along the river around 1650. Forges needed a good supply of charcoal and waterpower to work the hammers and bellows. In a 20 year period from 1640 the forest was plundered of most of the tress and fencing to make charcoal.
8. Archway Lodge was built by the Duke of Portland to prove the durability of the stone from his Mansfield Woodhouse quarries after it had been rejected for the rebuilding of the Houses of Parliament following the fire of 1835. The outside of the building is a copy of the Worksop Prior gatehouse but instead of saints the niches are adorned with figures from forest folk-law. This was supposed to be the first of several lodges spanning a private drive from Welbeck to Nottingham but no more were built. The lodge is arranged so that the centre tree 1.5 miles away along Green Ride could be seen through the arch.
9. Follow the road up to the A6075 and cross. Take the track bearing left along the edge of the forest. This is the forest of Birkland. some sections have very old large oaks. When you reach a path crossing the track, turn left.
10. Follow the path along the edge of the forest (on the left) until you come to the cross marking St Edwins Chapel and Hermitage.
11. Turn left at the next track which will take you back towards the A6075, crossing into King’s Wood, follow the permissive path through the wood.
12. The path emerges opposite the entrance to the Sunday Market and the Farm Park. There are good views over ancient Clipstone Park – the royal hunting park was 7.5 miles in circumference.
13. Follow the roadway down the hill to the the Farm Park – they have a tearoom and car park that groups can use by prior arrangement phone 01623 823558. Still going down hill you will pass through a gate with a sign stating that it is locked at dusk. There is a fine old wood to the left with Iron-age pigs roaming in an enclosure.
14. By the bridge over the River Maun turn right and take the track between the river and the lakes. The lakes have been created as a result of subsidence. Following the track to the end of the fishing lakes where it turns right and goes up the hill.
15. At the top turn left along the old Flood Dyke. The Flood Dyke snaked along the hill carrying water & sewage from Mansfield. Sluices then allowed it to flood the water meadows on the slopes below. The irrigation system took 20 years to built and involved moving huge amounts of soil to produce the smooth slopes. The bogs in the valley bottom, 9 feet deep in places, were the most expensive problem to overcome. There were numerous springs as well which required land drains to be laid deep under the surface.
16. The path you are following is crossed by Packman’s Road, turn left down the hill. Buried underneath the concrete on the bridge is the old stone bridge.
17. At the river follow the path round to the Spa Ponds. The hill above the spar ponds is the site of Beeston Lodge (the pele gatehouse). Continue past the first pond, then turn left along the dam and right up the hill.
18. Follow the path up the hill, with the field on your left until you come to the playing field. At the top of the playing field turn right take the 2nd on to Newlands Drive (past the middle of the playing field).
19. At the B6030 roundabout you need to go left, cross the road and follow the track down – to continue in the same direction as Newlands Drive.
A partly circular route of about 5.5 miles along Squires Lane to the Spa ponds via the river and Flood Dykes, then along Clipstone Drive before returning to the village down Squires Lane.
Start on Squires Lane
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The path follows the track with the single bar gate across.
10. The route back is an easy downhill walk along the almost straight lane until you get back to Cavendish Lodge.The ‘straight mile’ was the site of early car and motor bike trials. From 1914to 1920 the field to the right were the site of Clipstone Army camp.
A circular route of about 5 miles along Archway Road to Edwinstowe, Birklands and returning to the village down Green Ride and Archway Road.
Start on Archway Road
1. The route follows Archway Road north. The signal box is worth stopping to look at.
A circular route of about 8 miles along Archway Road to Edwintowe, then the Major Oak and Birklands, returning via Warsop Windmill, Sherwood Forest Farm Park, the Maun Valley and Squires Lane.
2. Follow the lane round past the signal box on Clipstone west junction. The box is one of the best examples left in the county. The second arch allowed the Flood Dyke to pass beneath the railway. Follow the lane round to the left under the second railway bridge. The lane then drops down to Forge Bridge and turn right down the river. – During mid 1600s Kings Clipstone was site of busy industrial mills – timber to produce charcoal and waterpower meant that Kings Clipstone had a number of slitting mills – pig iron was refined by removing the impurities(mainly carbon), then passed through rollers and a slitting mill to produce nails.
5. Cross the A 6075 at the traffic lights and continue on Church Street until you reach the cricket ground. Turn left and follow the path past the funfair to the back corner. It is signed bridleway to Glebethorpe. At the first branch in the track take the right hand track to the Major Oak.
8. Warsop Windmill – Kings Wood – it is claimed that the wood contains remains of a deer leap and ditch that enclosed Clipstone Park. The park which was enclosed in 1180 by a paling and ditch over 7 miles in length was a royal deer park. It still appeared on maps as late as 1801.
A circular route of about 7 miles starting at Vicar Water Country Park, then through Sherwood Pines (rightfully the centuries old name of called Clipstone Shrogges should be used). The route follows the B6030 to Kings Clipstone and finally returns along Bog Lane.
Start at Vicar Water Country Park
1. Leave the car-park by the left hand exit and head for the lake. Bear right at the lake and follow the national cycle route 6 signs down the back of the reclaimed pit tip. You should have the hill on the right and the old railway cutting on the left.
2. Stay on this path, it turns right and follows the electricity poles (don’t go across the first bridge). At the next junction in the path turn left – there is a national cycle route sculpture
3. Cross the old railway bridge and turn left again, you should see to the left the cutting with exposed sandstone and heather.
4. This takes you across another bridge – carry straight on.
5. Go through the bridge under the railway embankment. You are now in Sherwood Pines.
6. Keep going straight on, following the track uphill. The track levels out and runs very straight until it meets another track in a T junction.
7. Turn right – the track descends.
8. Then turn left at the next junction. The track passes through heathland and acid grassland typical of Clipstone Shrogges before the Forestry Commision took it over.
9. This track takes you towards Centre Parcs where a left turn takes you up hill.
10. To the right the edge of the forest can be seen. When a path crosses the track and the forest edge moves away, turn right and look for the very old parish boundary marker just inside the path on the right. The marker is inscribed with an S for the Savilles who owned the Rufford Estate which abutted the Portland Estate here. Rejoin the track and continue as before going up the gentle slope. Ignore side tracks and paths until you come to a tree trunk placed across the track.
11. Turn left and immediately right onto the tarmac road.
12. This takes you to the B6030 where a left down the hill takes you to Kings Clipstone. Be cautious on this section of the road, there is a wide verge but it is uneven in places.
13. Turn left at the Dog & Duck and go south along Bog Lane towards Vicar Water Country Park.
14. The path goes up the small valley of Vicar Water. The remains of the royal palace can be seen on the hill above. The large area of meadow is one of the few surviving parts of the Flood Dyke irrigation scheme which was over 8 miles long, from Mansfield to beyond Edwinstowe. The valley was the site the Great Pond of Clipstone before the irrigation work, at over half a mile long it first appeared in royal records in 1180.
15. Bear right when you reach Vicar Water Lake.
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150 visitors came from near and far to learn about the important historical sites in the village. One couple had walked from Big Barn Lane in Mansfield, another from Sutton in Ashfield. Given a guided tour of the Palace ruins, Great Pond of Clipstone and water meadow sites by Mickie Bradley and Steve Parkhouse, our visitors proved very enthusiastic about our campaign to save these important parts of our heritage.
Not only did our visitors stay for the tour which took over an hour (we had planned on 50 minutes) but they then stayed to ask alot of important questions and examined the exhibition in detail as well as talking to our helpers about the proposals.
Nearly all had no previous knowledge of the sites or the village and were amazed to find the ruins of an important royal residence in the area, a complex of buidlings used by all the Plantagenet Kings. Typical comments were “Absolutely fascinating and extremely informative history that needs sharing and saving” and “excellent – walking in the Lionheart’s footsteps” – this from one couple who lived in Mansfield.
There were to many comments about how mush they had enjoyed the visit to record.
Note – at the moment the sites are fields – the plans envisage a surfaced multiuser path connecting the national cycle route to the Palace then to the pavement at the top of the Rat Hole.
Enjoy a guided tour by experts of the very important sites within the village and finish with a visit to the pub and restaurant.
These sites are private property and is not normally open to the public.