Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Robin Hood and King John's Palace, Clipstone.

King John's Palace is situated on a low hill beside the B6030 in Old Clipstone (a.k.a. King's Clipstone). Once surrounded by forests, the humble ruins of what had been an impressive Royal Hunting Lodge in the 12th century, are amongst the first buildings ever to be "listed" and protected in the UK. The fact that Richard the Lionheart chose Clipstone as the place for a meeting with King William of Scots in 1194, gives us some idea of just how favoured this Lodge and the hunting opportunities it presented, were by the Royalty of the day. Sadly, all that remains now is a shadow of its former self.

King John, Richard’s brother, first acquired such properties in Clipstone while he was still the Earl of Mortain. They were then taken from him because he tried to usurp King Richard whilst Richard was away at the Crusades. However, after John succeeded in gaining the throne, he took back the property and made several visits there. According to legend, it was during one such visit that, rather than hunt for game in the surrounding forests, King John set out to hunt for Robin Hood in the caves at Creswell Craggs (see THIS LINK). But Robin heard of his intentions, and seized the opportunity to sneak into the palace whilst John was away, releasing all the prisoners from the dungeons there!

It was from this palace that Prince John road out to Nottingham and mercilessly hung a band of Welsh prisoners to quell a welsh uprising. An act which brought a curse down on Nottingham Castle. (See THIS LINK).

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