In 1205 King John paid an annual stipend of 4 shillings to the hermit of Clipstone who sang in St Edwin's Chapel in Birchwude (Birklands Wood).
The chapel at that time was part of the landscape of Royal Deer Park and Palace of the King's Houses (now known as King John's Palace) that were the royal heart of Medieval Sherwood Forest.
The location of the chapel was marked on the 1630 map of Clipstone made by William Senior of William Cavendish Earl of Newcastle.
The location is now marked on the ground by an iron cross erected in 1912 by the Duke of Portland.
It is believed that the chapel may well be significantly older than the earliest recorded reference from the reign of King John.
In the year 633AD; Edwin the recently converted Christian King of Northumbria was killed at the Battle of Heathfield by Penda King of Mercia and his Welsh allies.
The fieldwalking days were part funded by donations from local company Only Solutions LLP:
“Only Solutions LLP are proud to announce our part sponsorship of the Fieldwalking at St.Edwins Chapel this week. Wonderful research whose time has come. We encourage local businesses and community groups to consider sponsoring the Sherwood Archaeology Project... making a future for Sherwood’s amazing past.
Thanks Mercian Archeological Services CIC for rooting your energy in our Landscape.”
Fieldwalking was undertaken by Mercian and volunteers at the site of St Edwin’s Chapel in Sherwood Forest in August 2014.
The fieldwork was designed to investigate a number of key research questions, and was a free community event to anyone wishing to come and be involved in researching this excellent and mysterious site.
Although listed as being in Doncaster there is much evidence that the battle was in the Hatfield area around the village of Cuckney 3 miles to the north of this cross. Hatfield was the western division of the Wapentake of Bassetlaw, which made up the northern part of Nottinghamshire and included parts of Sherwood Forest.
There is also the neighbouring village to Clipstone; Edwinstowe which is believed to translate as the Holy Place of St Edwin.
Did this site belong to an earlier cult of St Edwin, who died in battle in these parts 1380 years ago?
The cross can be visited via footpath along the northern boundary of Clipstone parish.
Award Winners 2016
for "Engaging people in the heritage, history & archaeology of Sherwood Forest".
Official Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project T-Shirt for just £9.99 +p&p
Official Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project Coffee Mug for just £8.50 +p&p
2014 St. Edwin’s Chapel, Kings Clipstone, Fieldwalking, by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC.
This survey covered the field to the south of St Edwin’s Chapel. The fieldwalking helped to confirm the location of the chapel through the presence of scattered building stone. Finds within the spread of stone included 13th- 14th century Nottingham type jug sherds, sherds from Brackenfield in Derbyshire, and a sherd of 15th-16th century Ticknall Cistercian Ware pot. Pot-boiler stones were also detected in a number of concentrations, but these are so far undated from around the field. The results are published in Budge 2014 (b).
Picture: Distribution of Stone fragments relating to the chapel site.