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The Parliament Oak

Parliament Oak

The Parliament Oak is one of the trees marking the boundary of Clipstone Park which adjoined the King's Houses at Kings Clipstone. Plantagenet kings regularly stayed at the Kings Houses (also known as King John's Palace) between 1181 and 1393. Local legend relates how King John met with the barons beneath its branches in 1212. Doubts have been raised concerning the accuracy of this story but King John definitely stayed at his palace at Clipstone during this period and would he have wanted to make the awkward barons too comfortable during the difficult negotiations that lead to Magna Carta?

The account of the 1816 Perambulation of the Lordship of Warsop relates '... very ancient Oak Tree standing in those Pales call'd Parliament Oak under the Branches of which Tradition says the Ancient Barons met and brought King John (the few remains of whose palace stand at Clipston) to those Terms which laid the Foundation of that Great Charter of our Liberties called "Magna Charta" which History informs us was afterwards signed at Runnymede …'

Parliament Oak

Parliament Oak

Parliament Oak drawn by Hayman Rooke, published 1790

For more information see our Research Record