#OTD 29 March 1194 – Richard the Lionheart visits Sherwood Forest

2010 sherwood

The siege of Nottingham ended, so what’s a king to do? Relax! Go hunting in Sherwood Forest. 

“On the twenty-ninth day of March, Richard, king of England, went to Clipston and the forests of Sherwood, which he had never seen before, and they pleased him greatly; after which, on the same day, he returned to Nottingham.” 
–from The Annals of Roger de Hoveden

Stretching north from Nottingham to Yorkshire, 12th century Sherwood Forest covered about 100,000 acres. The visitor today must drive about 20 miles north of Nottingham to see Sherwood’s 1,000+ acres. It is extremely lovely and serene, well worth the visit.

Sherwood Forest is frequently associated with Robin Hood. Did King Richard meet Robin there? Did King John have the Sheriff of Nottingham chasing Robin and his band of Merry Men through the greenwood? No – Robin is just a character in legends, though most agree Robin may have been based on a real man or men. But the fictional tales of Robin continue to delight us. Not all stories take place in Sherwood. I use Sherwood and Nottingham in my novel, For King and Country, but many place Robin in Barnsdale Forest in Yorkshire during the reign of Edward II in the 14th century.

KJPSE

Clipston (i.e., Clipstone) is the home of what we now call King John’s Palace, a site that first appears in records during the reign of Richard’s father, King Henry II. Twenty pounds was spent on work there in 1164, possibly on the building of a hunting lodge. In the 1170s, Henry spent £500 on the site, a huge sum. By the mid-14th century, the large complex was referred to as the King’s Houses and dozens of buildings occupied over 7 acres of land.

King Richard visited Clipstone twice – the day after the siege ended (March 29), and again on April 3 when he met with the Scottish king William the Lion.

Image credits 

Sherwood Forest photos by me, from a visit in 2010. CC BY-SA.

King John’s Palace ruins by JPWarchaeology – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16741588

Sources

Wright, J. A Palace for Our Kings. Triskele Publishing, 2016.

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men_full-sideCharlene Newcomb is currently working on Book III of Battle Scars, 12th century historical fiction filled with war, political intrigue, and a knightly romance of forbidden love set during the reign of Richard the Lionheart. There will be more to come, so sign up for Char’s Newsletter. It will be used – sparingly – to offer exclusive content and and to let you be the first to know about special offers.

 

 

 

 

 

location, location, location – using Pinterest to show Battle Scars locations…

photo by Christophe.Finot distributed under CC-BY-SA 2.5
Southampton, England
photo by Christophe.Finot distributed under CC-BY-SA 2.5

There have been a number of recent articles about writers using Pinterest to promote their interests and their books.

I set up a Pinterest account ages ago and let it sit. In random moments I would remember it, add a pin or two, then sock it away for a few months. If you’ve been following my blog, you’ve spotted a few posts about the location of my crusader knights on different dates as they journey from Southampton, England to the Holy Land in book 1, Men of the Cross. I’ve also mentioned a few locations in book 2, For King and Country. I’ve included pictures on many of those posts. Eureka! Why not use Pinterest to post those locations, too? What a concept. (Not original, I’m sure, but still… )

See everything I’ve added so far and watch for more to come.

Medieval fun facts…

On names…
“When Henry the young King held court in Normandy at Christmas 1171, the guests supposedly included 110 knights named ‘William’.”

The most common names in English society by 1225 were William, Robert, Richard, Roger, and Hugh. (Contrast that with a May 2013 list: Jacob, Mason, Ethan, Noah, William. 842 years & William is still at the top of the charts!)
England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings, 1075-1225, by Robert Bartlett.

And a p.s.: Check out the UK site for Oliver, Jack, Charlie, Harry, and Oscar

On marriage…
“Under Henry II, the average fine [for marrying off your daughter without your lord’s permission] was £75.”  Wow! That was a lot of money back in the 12th century, “roughly equivalent to five years’ income for a knight.” —England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings, 1075-1225, by Robert Bartlett.

Major Oak at Sherwood Forest
The Major Oak

On Sherwood Forest…
In the 12th century, Sherwood covered about 100,000 acres, stretching north from Nottingham to Yorkshire. The main road from London to York – the Great North Road – cut through the heart of the forest.

Today, one must drive about 20 miles north of Nottingham to see Sherwood’s 1,000+ acres. (It’s well worth the drive!)

While many of the legends place Robin Hood’s hangout as Barnsdale Forest in south Yorkshire, I will use Sherwood as a base…in book 3 of Battle Scars. Nottingham will feature prominently in book 2.