A selection of media reviews, features and interviews linked to our current publications.

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13428511_1415923665090815_211506938815942428_nA Palace For Our Kings

by James Wright with foreword by Jonathan Foyle



“Clipstone has long been a mere footnote in the study of medieval English royal palaces, with only two index citations in Tom James’ 1990 Palaces of Medieval England(acknowledged here as an inspiration). This much-needed book therefore fills a gap, resulting from a long association with the site by the author. This book is a lively, wide-ranging and engaging read… it represents another welcome piece in a historiographical jigsaw.”

“Returning it to its former glory as a place of bustling activity and life, James Wright’s A Palace for Our Kings lovingly restores Clipstone to its rightful place in history as an iconic forest palace, a symbol of royal power, and a place for leisure. It’s an informative, rewarding read for anyone interested in the evolution of medieval palaces.”


“Wright gives this underappreciated site the attention it deserves and his strong enthusiasm is evident in the book. Despite the nature of the documentary sources being from a royal perspective, there is a sense that what motivates Wright is not just the story of the monarch’s relationship with the palace, but the story of the ‘ordinary’ mediaeval community of Clipstone exploring its development and reaction to the palace and royal power… Wright is to be congratulated for synthesising such a large body of evidence so well and there can be no doubt that this book is the most important published text to date on King John’s Palace. It is a must read for anyone interested in Sherwood Forest and its surrounding area; or more generally, royal hunting and infrastructure underlying Forest Law.”

“From the stories of kings, through witchcraft, war and religion to the individual lives of the families who lived and worked there, this book tells the remarkable history of the palace and its people; and of its rediscovery and significance to the history of England. This book is a marvel to read; it is a fabulous story of how 1,500 years of history have affected one small area of England – and how that little village played its part in English history. I cannot recommend it highly enough, it is written in a wonderful, conversational manner which makes it accessible to all, and tells a truly fascinating story which made it a pleasure, and a privilege, to read.”


“The passion which James [Wright] has for the site is evident, it is very well researched and written and is bursting with meticulous facts that will appeal to the specialist, academic and general populous alike.”


Popular Archaeology edited by Dan McLerran


Past Horizons – Adventures in Archaeology


Nottinghamshire Local History Association by Sarah Seaton


Massachusetts State Universities Medieval Blog by Professor Kisha Tracy


Nottingham Evening Post by Andy Smart

“Few people pay much attention to the crumbling ruins known as King John’s Palace in the north Notts village of Clipstone…. But what a story those rough walls could tell… tales of kings and courtiers, knights and outlaws. Now, after years of research, the fascinating history of King John’s Palace has finally been told by archaeologist James Wright.”



“What I found most compelling was that stories kept finding themselves. There is a constant theme running through the book which looks at how the ordinary people of Kings Clipstone reacted to, dealt with and coped with the presence of the royal palace, the forest laws and a continuing tension between their common rights and the will of the monarchs. It wasn’t always a harmonious relationship and there were definite flashpoints.”