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.