Discover King John’s Palace

Discover King John’s Palace project 2015

What a brilliant year long project this was.

We want to thank every person that voted for the Big Lottery People’s Millions in November 2014 and to our other funders Magna Carta 800th Anniversary, Newark & Sherwood District Council and Kings Clipstone Parish Council.

Our gratitude to Mickie and Martin Bradley the owners of the ruins, Mercian Archaeology CIC and Ezekiel Bone and his merry outlaws, who all worked very hard to support us.

Everyone has agreed that 2015 has been the most positive and enagaging year at Sherwood’s Royal Palace, we hosted over 750 local school children, celebrated freedoms and equality and the Magna Carta, had several great Palace festivals which included a beer festival with the local Kings Clipstone micro brewery, and the icing on the cake, was 3 weeks of beautiful community archaeology run by Andy, Sean and David of Mercian Archaeology.

We are sure that 2015 has been the first steps in giving King John’s Palace the credit and attention it deserves. Thank you and we hope that you can support us and visit the palace in the future.

Robin Hood (Ezekial Bone), John Little and outlaws with Mickie and martin Bradley at the Magna Carta celebrations.

Robin Hood (Ezekial Bone), John Little and outlaws with Mickie and martin Bradley at the Magna Carta celebrations.




July 11th and 18th

Come to the open days in style on an iconic vintage RouteMaster bus, all on us! On the 11th a bus departs from Mansfield and Worksop and on the 18th from Nottingham and Newark. You’ll spend around Contact us now for more details and to book your seats and travel in style.

Bus and open day is free but booking is essential.

We’ve had technical difficulties with the booking form that was on here.

If you filled it out please call Ian in the office on 01623 821 490 ASAP.



July 11th and 18th                                                  10am til 4pm

At our public open days we want you to come and see what has been happening at the dig, be entertained by Robin Hood and his outlaws, and learn about the history of the heart of Sherwood Forest. We have also laid on a special treat aboard the…

Free entry and free parking, no booking required.


July – Tuesday 7th to 11th and 14th to 18th

Join Mercian Archaeology CIC and take part in a real archaeological dig that will find out more about the Palace site. All instruction and tools supplied.

Free event but booking essential via the Mercian website please.

centre - John


Don’t miss out on Community Archaeology Days

We are extremely proud to announce that Mercian Archaeology are running a FREE Community Archaeology excavation in July as part of the ‘Discover King John’s Palace’ project sponsored by the Big Lottery, and the Magna Carta 800th fund. The project is also timed to run alongside the Festival of British Archaeology.

The excavation will run in July 2015, from Tuesday 7th- Saturday 11th and Tuesday 14th- Saturday 18th.

At this stage we are going to limit people to one day per week, but this may change nearer the time.

The project is being run in conjunction with Sherwood Forest Trust, Mickie Bradley and Robin Hood aka Ezekial Bone, and is going ahead thanks to winning the public Peoples Millions Phone Vote on ITV last year- thank you again to everyone who voted!

The excavation is just a small part of what is taking place throughout the project- which is designed to engage local people and school children, as well as increase understanding of the site, as part of celebrations around the 800th anniversary of the signing of the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215.

Please can you contact Mercian by email to request your place on your chosen day.


Here is some information about the project:…/discover-king-johns-pal……/discover-king-john%e2%80%99s-…/
Please let us know if you would like to be involved in this excavation – remember numbers are limited so please book soon!

We hope to see lots of you at King John’s Palace in the heart of Sherwood Forest.


Schools and groups can come to KJP

We are now asking parents and teachers, anyone connected to a school or group to get in touch with us so we can really make a start on this exciting project.

When ITV filmed our promo we had children from Forest Town Primary School come out and take part in the day. The kids didn’t really know what to expect but when they went back to school, they were really buzzing with heads and hearts full of fun facts.

That was only 30 minutes with Mercian Archaeology and Ezekiel Bone, so imagine how a full tour of the site will inspire and educate the children of the area?

We want schools and groups to let us know that they want to visit King John’s Palace, or to be on the list to develop the Heritage chests that they can then borrow free of charge.

We’re still working on when and how the school visits will happen, but transport to and from the site will be free of charge, and we’ll arrange the visits for the warmer and drier months of the year (when is that then?! hehe).

We’d also like to create a Young Friends of group to grow alongside the Friends of King John’s Palace, and any teachers or educational experts who might have preferences on materials that go into the Heritage Chests are encouraged to get in touch with us.


If you want to get on the list, send these details:

1. Your Name

2. Position in School or Group

3. Contact telephone

4. If your interested in Visits/Heritage Chests/Young Friends/other

And email it to:

Then Ian will get in touch with you over the coming weeks.




Brilliant news for Sherwood Forest!


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The Sherwood Forest Trust has been successful in getting the Big Lottery Fund People’s Millions national programme for a community heritage project at King John’s Palace, near Mansfield, the ancient heart of Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire.

On Wednesday November 26th a great number of people voted for ‘Discover King John’s Palace’ project, we were overwhelmed with the amount of support that came from individuals, groups and organisations in Nottinghamshire and beyond.

Ian Major, Community Heritage Landscape Officer for SFT said, “It’s amazing, people have really got behind the project. They believe in its purpose, they believe in the magic of King John’s Palace, of the hidden heritage of Sherwood Forest. By bringing people to the site, especially children, and telling these inspiring stories we can make a real difference to peoples lives.”

Though Sherwood Forest is known by almost everyone around the planet, little has been developed in telling the real legend of this noble heritage forest, and the Palace site is key to this story.

King John’s Palace is a Grade II listed ruin that was used by many of the Kings of England during medieval times and played an important role in the development of the Magna Carta in 1215.

Our project will run from January to December 2015 and will benefit people by:

  • crafting new interpretation boards for visitors to understand better the site,
  • organising a series of ‘Time Team’ archaeological digs for 300 adults and children,
  • involving 750 children from local schools to use the site,
  • leafleting 2000 households to raise their awareness,
  • holding a grand community event,
  • create a loan heritage chest that schools can use for their curriculum.

We see this project as the first phase of creating a resource for local people, and in the longer term for visitors to Sherwood Forest, so it can add to the growth of an area that has suffered economically during the last few decades. It will also provide a positive
focus for people to be proud of where they live, and be more connected to a common heritage.

KJP in the sun

The Sherwood Forest Trust celebrates our 20th anniversary during 2015 and the project will be the heritage highlight.

We want to tell the story of King John’s Palace to create a sense of historic identity and inspire future generations.

And for the Trust, what a fantastic way to crown our birthday year.

Thank you for supporting the project, and

We hope that you will ‘Discover King John’s Palace’ with us.


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