Mansfield Royal Palace and Pleasley 'Bishops' Palace

Has been described as a Certain Palace (Bishop/Royal), and also as a Certain Fortified Manor House

There are earthwork remains

NameMansfield Royal Palace and Pleasley 'Bishops' Palace
Alternative NamesPlesele
Historic CountryNottinghamshire
Modern AuthorityNottinghamshire
1974 AuthorityNottinghamshire
Civil ParishMansfield

Henry I had a hall or hunting lodge at Mansfield. It was superseded by a new hunting lodge built at Clipstone by Henry II. (The Beck family could quite well have been the occupiers of the vacated royal residence, and this could be the site of it). (PastScape ref. HKW)

Much disturbed ground at SK 509 646 may represent earthworks associated with the royal residence. (PastScape)

A palace of the Bishops of St Davids "Perhaps a place of retreat during the Welsh Wars" (Thompson 1998)

Sometime before 1281 Robert de Willoughby sold the manor of Pleasley to Thomas Bek, a younger brother of John, Lord Bek of Eresby (Lincs.) (d. 1304),who was bishop of St David's from 1280 until his death in 1293. The justices in eyre were concerned at this alienation and it may have been as a consequence that Robert confirmed the feoffment to Thomas in 1288. The justices were also told that Bek had a warren at Pleasley. In December 1281 the king gave Thomas four bucks and eight does to stock his park at Pleasley and excused his removal of four other deer from Sherwood he previous autumn. In 1285 Thomas had a grant of a weekly market and three-day annual fair at Pleasley and free warren in his demesne lands, as well as licence to fortify and crenellate his house there, and permission to divert the road running past his tenement at Pleasley Hill. After Thomas Bek's death, Pleasley passed to his brother Anthony, bishop of Durham, who had half a knight's fee there in 1302. He died in 1311, when the manor of Pleasley was found to be held of Robert de Reresby by the service of 2d. yearly. (Draft version of the VCH)

Gatehouse Comments

A private house of the Bek's, not an episcopal palace, but almost certainly dressed up with martial symbols, such as battlements. Sited on county boundary with Pleasley and most of the deer park in Derbyshire but the house in Nottinghamshire. (Which has confused entries about this site in earlier version of this database.)

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSK509647
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Thompson, M.W., 1998, Medieval bishops' houses in England and Wales (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing) p. 167, 183
  • Colvin, H.M., Brown, R.Allen and Taylor, A.J., 1963, The history of the King's Works Vol. 2: the Middle Ages (London: HMSO) p. 983
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 403 online copy


  • Speight, Sarah, 2008, 'Castles as Past Culture: Living with Castles in the Post-Medieval World' Cha^teau Gaillard Vol. 23 p. 385-94 (slight)

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1893, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward I (1281-91) Vol. 2 p. 150 online copy


  • Payne, Naomi, 2003, The medieval residences of the bishops of Bath and Wells, and Salisbury (PhD Thesis University of Bristol) Appendix B: List of Medieval Bishop's Palaces in England and Wales (available via EThOS)