The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Mansfield Royal Palace and Pleasley 'Bishops' Palace

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Mansfield.
In the historic county of Nottinghamshire.
Modern Authority of Nottinghamshire.
1974 county of Nottinghamshire.
Medieval County of Nottinghamshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SK50966476
Latitude 53.17800° Longitude -1.23865°

Mansfield Royal Palace and Pleasley 'Bishops' Palace has been described as a certain Palace, and also as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are earthwork remains.


Henry I had a hall or hunting lodge at Mansfield. It was superseded by a new hunting lodge built at Clipstone by Henry II. (The Beck family could quite well have been the occupiers of the vacated royal residence, and this could be the site of it). (PastScape ref. HKW)

Much disturbed ground at SK 509 646 may represent earthworks associated with the royal residence. (PastScape)

A palace of the Bishops of St Davids "Perhaps a place of retreat during the Welsh Wars" (Thompson 1998)

Sometime before 1281 Robert de Willoughby sold the manor of Pleasley to Thomas Bek, a younger brother of John, Lord Bek of Eresby (Lincs.) (d. 1304),who was bishop of St David's from 1280 until his death in 1293. The justices in eyre were concerned at this alienation and it may have been as a consequence that Robert confirmed the feoffment to Thomas in 1288. The justices were also told that Bek had a warren at Pleasley. In December 1281 the king gave Thomas four bucks and eight does to stock his park at Pleasley and excused his removal of four other deer from Sherwood he previous autumn. In 1285 Thomas had a grant of a weekly market and three-day annual fair at Pleasley and free warren in his demesne lands, as well as licence to fortify and crenellate his house there, and permission to divert the road running past his tenement at Pleasley Hill. After Thomas Bek's death, Pleasley passed to his brother Anthony, bishop of Durham, who had half a knight's fee there in 1302. He died in 1311, when the manor of Pleasley was found to be held of Robert de Reresby by the service of 2d. yearly. (Draft version of the VCH)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1285 Jan 1 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).


A private house of the Bek's, not an episcopal palace, but almost certainly dressed up with martial symbols, such as battlements.
Sited on county boundary with Pleasley and most of the deer park in Derbyshire but the house in Nottinghamshire. (Which has confused entries about this site in earlier version of this database.)
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER            
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:07

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact