Clipstone Peel

Has been described as a Possible Palace (Royal), and also as a Possible Fortified Manor House, and also as a Possible Uncertain

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameClipstone Peel
Alternative NamesClipeston; Clypston; Beeston Lodge
Historic CountryNottinghamshire
Modern AuthorityNottinghamshire
1974 AuthorityNottinghamshire
Civil ParishClipstone

Clipstone Peel was built in an extension to Clipstone deep park during the early C14 as a refuge for Edward II during a time of political turmoil. The peel was constructed in timber except for a stone gatehouse. When the peel was dismantled duiring 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 sole extant remains at this site consist of a pile of broken masonry containing no architectural dating material; the whole is thickly overgrown by grass and bushes and is situated on an island surrounded by plough. Isolated fragments of roofing tile and building stone can be seen in the field edge. No local information was gained regarding the history of this building, and extensive research at the County Record Office was also negative. (Field Investigators Comments–F1 FDC 16-MAY-74)

SK 571637. Beeston Lodge ceased to exist by the mid - 19th century as indicated by maps of that period, but is shown, although not named, on Senior's Map of 1630. The lodge may have originated as the gatehouse of Clipstone Peel. From the later 14th century, references are made to a lodge in Clipstone Park, and these may refer to Beeston Lodge; by that time most parks had a lodge. The close proximity of the King's Manor, would make it unnecessary to build one at Clipstone The lodge may possibly have derived its name from one of its tenants. A peel, a sophisticated wooden palisade with external ditch and gates, was constructed in the months prior to January 1317, forming an extension to the western end of the park. The enclosure included a gatehouse, hall, royal chamber, a chapel, bakehouse, grange, and animal sheds. However, in January 1328, Robert de Clipstone was ordered to remove all except the gatehouse, and have them re-erected in the manor. There was 198 acres of arable, as well as pasture for which the river was diverted (Crook, 1976)


1307 Edward II was the King who spent the most time at Clipstone. Whether in his troubled reign he felt safe at this palace in Sherwood Forest is certainly a possibility, but he is recorded as being fond of rural pursuits. In 1317 he added a Pele to the Royal hunting Park. Constructed of timber with a stone gateway and house, this was to help improve and keep safe food, crops and animals. The famine in 1315 had left even the royal household short of supplies. The road and farm known today as Peafield is a corruption of Pelefield.

Edward III came to the throne and he had the Pele dismantled in 1328 and everything but the Gatehouse was brought back to the Manor at Clipstone. The gatehouse was to become Beeston Lodge. Sections of the standing wall remained until the 1950s. (Stapleton 1890)

Gatehouse Comments

Wright also reports that David Crook suggests this was built as a defensive refuge by Edward. Edward's troubles with Thomas of Lancaster may have lead to him having a larger than usual court retinue and an additional need for extra accommodation dressed up in the martial style his courtiers would expect. It is also suggested this was a fortified military supply base and warehouse for estate produce, although the provision of prestigious accommodation means it was certainly more than just that. See Clipstone King John's Palace for full bibliography.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSK570637
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Photo by James Wright All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

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  • < >Wright, James, 2016, A Palace For Our Kings The history and archaeology of a Mediaeval royal palace in the heart of Sherwood Forest (Triskele Publishing) < >
  • Wright, James, 2008, Castles of Nottinghamshire (Nottinghamshire County Council) p. 23, 62
  • Crook, D., 2005, 'Clipstone Peel: Fortification and Politics from Bannockburn to the Treaty of Leake 1314-18' in Preswich, M., Britnell, R. and Frame, R. (eds), Thirteenth Century England 10: Proceedings of the Durham Conference 2003 (Woodbridge: Boydell Press)
  • 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. 919-20
  • Stapleton, A., 1890, A History of the Lordship of King's Clipstone or Clipstone in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire (J Linney) online copy


  • Wright, James and Gaunt, Andy, 2013-14, ''A palace for our kings' – A decade of research into a royal residence in the heart of Sherwood Forest at Kings Clipstone, Nottinghamshire' Castle Studies Group Journal Vol. 27 p. 234-251 esp 249-50
  • Crook, D., 1976, 'Clipstone Park and 'Peel'' Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire Vol. 80 p. 35-46
  • 1951 June 22, Country Life p. 1960 (Reproduction of C14 map showing location of peel)

Primary Sources

  • National Archive E143/7/5 online reference
  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1896, Calendar of Close Rolls Edward III (1327-30) Vol. 1 p. 194 online copy


  • Gaunt, Andy, 2011, Clipstone Park and the Kings Houses (Univesity of Birmingham) (MA Dissertation and Geophysical survey) online copy