All Saints


The church is dedicated to All Saints and set in the colliery village of New Clipstone. It was consecrated by the Bishop of Southwell on 1 November 1928, All Saints Day. There are, however, several areas relevant to Clipstone, i.e. Clipstone itself, Old Clipstone, and Kings Clipstone.

From May 2003 the Secretary of State for the Environment and the Regions accepted there was to be a Kings Clipstone ward within the Parish of Clipstone with another ward named New Clipstone covering the colliery village. This acceptance did not clear the matter up until the Newark and Sherwood District Council and the Clipstone Parish Council declared that Old Clipstone would become Kings Clipstone.

A reference to Clipestune (Clipstone) appears in the 1086 Domesday survey which records, prior to the Norman Conquest, two  Saxons, Osbern and Ulfsig, meaning victory wolf, held possession of the Manor of Clipstone. By 1086 the Lord and tenant-in-chief was Roger de Bully, Busli. When Roger died in around 1098 his son became Lord of this Manor. This soon came into royal possession and the King's House (now known as King John’s Palace) was established there in 1164 and remained  until after the Richard II’s last visit in 1393. A chapel was first noted as having been constructed at the Palace during the years 1176-80, in advance of a visit by Henry II in 1181.

Henry IV awarded George Dunbarre, Earl of March, the Manors of Clipstone in 1401 as recompense for the loss of his estates when he joined forces under the English Crown during the Scottish conflicts. This intervening period had seen Clipstone as a favourite main residence for the kings to stay in the area for relaxation and hunting, within Sherwood Forest and the Park. Considering the amount of construction work executed at this time at Clipstone it had most likely become a palace, no doubt befitting its station hereabouts.

Seven Plantagenet Kings of England visited between 1181-1393, and grants were made over these years for building work. In 1246-7 Henry III built a large chapel costing £26. Edward I had two new chambers, with chapels, erected at the King’s Houses for himself and his Queen, at a cost of £435 12s. 6d.  

Following the exchanges of the Manor over the later years when the Crown again took possession, Henry VIII granted in March 1520 the Keepership of the Castle or Manor, and the Park of Clipstone in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire and the pond called Clipstone Damme, to William West, a groom of the Privy Chamber. Some minor plaster work was done during this period but the buildings fell into some decline, and by the time of a survey in 1525 several of the chambers had collapsed and the chapel had no roof. By March 1568 Thomas Markham of Ollerton had been granted the Keepership of the Manor.

By 1632 the Earl of Newcastle held leases on several farms and properties in the immediate locality, and permission was sort from him to use stone from the Kings Houses to build dwellings within the village. Irrespective as to whether permission was granted, Thoroton in his History of Nottinghamshire, notes in 1677, '...there is scarcely any ruins left at all of the king's old house, except a piece of thick stone wall.....'.  Such are the ruins today.

Considering the link between Clipstone and Edwinstowe we now look at the chapel of St. Edwin and Edwinstowe where the place name may refer to a shrine (stŏw) erected on the site where the martyred king was believed to have been temporarily buried. His relic was later to be reburied part at Streonæshalch in Whitby, Yorkshire and also York Minster.

The Revd. Edward V Bond, vicar of Edwinstowe who came there in 1907 rediscovered the site of St Edwin’s Chapel and hermitage in Birkland forest near to King’s Clipstone.

This had been founded by King John as a chantry to pray for the souls of his family and for all whom he had wronged. The Revd E V Bond persuaded the Duke of Portland to erect a metal cross and plaque to mark the site which originally read:

This cross erected by William Arthur 6th Duke of Portland KC in 1912, marks the site of the Royal Chapel Chantry and Hermitage dedicated to St. Edwin, King of Northumberland of which the few stones here collected are evidence. In 1201 King John paid the Hermit of Clipstone, who sang in St. Edwin's Chapel in the Hay of Birkwade the annual stipend of 40 shillings to celebrate service for his soul and those of his ancestors. Similar payments by succeeding kings are recorded up to 1548. Survey maps show the chapel here in 1619, and 1630.

Details, edited by Colgrave, from the notes on the earliest life of Gregory the Great indicate Trimma lived for a while at Edwin’s temporary burial site and wished to establish a monastery there and the chapel site appears to have been the likely location of this abode.

This Hermitage is documented in 1201, from the accounts of William Brewer, Sheriff of Nottingham and Derby indicates 20s. 0d. was paid that year to the chaplain of Clipstone. Similarly in 1212 king John deemed a regular payment for, 'there ministering for the soul of king Henry', his father.

Like payments were made by succeeding kings to the chaplains up to the Dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII.

The church at Edwinstowe had a priest recorded in Domesday Book  and drawing a parallel with them, from the written records, William II gave that church as part of the Manor of Mansfield to the Bishop of Lincoln in 1093, to be in the possession of the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln by 1146. The vicarage was ordained on 15 January 1260/1, the priest being Richard de Melton. Richard who was on the move at that time gave leave and was replaced by William Thistledon who gave subsequent service from 28 July 1306; similarly John de Ryston from 13 October 1317. However it was not until 1 May 1335, when Thomas Fox, son of Henry de Edenstow, did the now Archbishop Melton confirm the incumbency at Edwinstowe on 31 March 1337.

A Lincoln cathedral archives document dated 16 January 1422 records that activities continued in earnest within Clipstone as one of the Chapelries of Edwinstowe.  It also clearly links the ecclesiastical parish of Edenstowe with its Chapelries of Carburton, Peveralthorpe, Thoresby, Allerton, Wellagh, Clypston and Budbye together.

A memorandum issued in January 1422 notes the parishioners of various chapelries, led by men of Wellagh, Wellow, were caused to appear before the Dean and Chapter, Robert, vicar of Edwinstowe, where a petition was made against the vicar, concerning the annuity of 11 nobles given by the Dean and Chapter, part for the vicar and part to be divided amongst the poor. Each claimed a larger portion for their parish including Clypston, Clipstone.
This Robert, vicar of Edwinstowe, and a Robert Gomondeley, presumably the same person, became priest on the 8 October 1420 when Richard Gibbeson, his predecessor resigned. The patron at that time according to the York Record 18, 253 was the Chapter of Lincoln.

Sometime between 1647-79 Thomas Bowes, Vicar of Edwinstowe, petitioned the Dean and Chapter on behalf of poor of parishes including Clipstone for a resumption of the ‘Lincoln Dole’, “11 nobles, 5 nobles for the vicar and 40s to the poor…relating neere to 30 families”. And he would like the arrears since the Restoration. The details of the petition called for additional funds to allow payments to continue to the poor of the parishes:

Humble petition of Thomas Bowes Vicar of Edwinstow with the rest of the poor parishioners of Ollerton, Clipstone, Parlethorpe, Thoresbye, and Budbye. Humbly showeth That from Tyme whereof noe memory is to the contrary the right Worshipful the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln hath yearly at the Feast of Xmas paid unto the Vicar of Edwinstow and the poor parishioners above, 11 nobles per Annum (Viz) 5 nobles to the vicar and 40s to the poor of the Parish to be equally distributed amongst them which said Annual due hath been paid by Mr. Peachell late (cec .... ) General to yo' predecessor and till the beginning of the late warres was never neglected as may appear by the testymony of divers aged persons now living in the said parish.

Wherefore your pore petitioners humble suite is yo' Worshipps wilbe pleased this soe pious deed relating neere to 30 families and dulye pd by yo' predecessor till the late warres the complaint of the poore eache yeare agst the vicar and other the officers of the Parish for their neclecte in not looking after it will be pleased to render the accostomed dues aforsd with the arrears since the blessed restauraen of the Kinges Matc’ and, the church and your poor petitioners as in all bounden duty shall we pray for yo’ worps longe lives, properities and all happiness.

Clipstone continued as a chapelry of Edwinstowe and until the 18th century most of the parishioners attended St. Mary's church. However, later, following an increase in numbers within the village owing to Clipstone being enlarged due to the improvements caused by the 4th Duke of Portland's water-meadows irrigation scheme, adjacent to the river Maun vale, an alternative was sought. The Duke had given permission for a Methodist chapel to be built and he, as an Anglican looked for a place where services could be held. Park Farm, now Cavendish Lodge, at the end of Squires Lane, Kings Clipstone, offered space and in 1841 a chapel was provided in the hexagonal drawing room at the front of the property. The Revd. J.B. Cobham, Vicar of Edwinstowe was paid £50 extra each year to hold services there each Sunday. This continued until 1897 when the Farm occupancy changed from bailiff to tenant. Services then temporarily continued for 6 years in the schoolroom of Archway House, Kings Clipstone.

In 1903 the Duke of Portland provided a new iron mission church positioned, as the building still continues to do in Kings Clipstone, on the northern edge of Castlefield. The style of the corrugated iron building was advertised by Harrods, in the Church of England Year Book, as 'Restful in design, economical, easy to erect and could be taken down at low cost.' The Duke allowed the Revd. Frank Day-Lewis, Vicar of St Mary's, Edwinstowe, an annuity for preaching there each Sunday. Whilst baptisms were held at the Mission Church weddings and funerals were not. The building was extended with a small porch and the western apex of the roof had a frame fitted to support a plain bell, some 6 inches in diameter which had a cut-away shoulder and peg argent. The bell was of a similar date to the building. The interior of the building had a raised floor where the altar stood and separate places for the choir plus some 40 members of the congregation. A wooden screen could be drawn over the altar section allowing other activities to take place which proved useful after Winifred, Duchess of Portland, who took great interest in the village and school, arranged for the church building to be given to the village as a centre for dances and other social gatherings.  

This Mission Church was closed in 1979 after the congregation dwindled and people attended the other local churches, particularly All Saints in Clipstone. The building was later altered and made suitable for use as a factory unit with parts of the original internal screen being used to line the walls and provide the material for a new west door. The Baptismal font was split and moved into a local village garden, but unfortunately, is now missing from there.

During the early part of this latter period, in 1912, the Bolsover Colliery Company accepted the Duke of Portland's offer of leasing 6,000 acres of Top Hard coal under the Clipstone Estate and sinking of the colliery shaft began almost immediately. This came to an abrupt end and work was suspended owing to the outbreak of the war in 1914.

The Duke of Portland offered the use of the land to the War Department to construct a large army camp, initially to house and train some 15 battalions of troops in 750 large huts. The number of troops was eventually doubled to become one of the largest in the country. There was a Church of England chapel dedicated to St. George and other huts run by the Church Army, Roman Catholics, the Wesleyans, Salvation Army, and for the Jewish troops.  

At the conclusion of the war the camp was used as a demobilisation centre and various huts were sold to outside agencies. The last hut to be removed was the church hall which was demolished to make way for small dwellings in the colliery village. Work recommenced on the sinking of the two Clipstone colliery shafts, and once coal was reached in April 1922 the Bolsover Colliery Company set out to design and build under architect Percy Bond Houfton the new Clipstone village, consisting of 648 dwellings. At the centre of the new village an open space was left to build a church, vicarage and Methodist chapel. The Duke of Portland and the Bolsover Colliery Company took responsibility for the building of the church and chapel.  

The contract for the church was set at £6,000 to a design by architect Louis Ambler and builder J.F. Booth of Banbury. The Bolsover Colliery Company provided one and a quarter acres of ground for the footprint of the building and £3,000. The Duke of Portland, Marquis of Titchfield, and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners gave £1,000 each.

The church was built with seating for 375 and completed, despite various cashflow problems (it was reported in 1931 that the church still required £7,000 to complete), to be consecrated by the Bishop of Southwell on 1 November 1928, All Saints Day. By Order in Council of 26 June 1930 a district chapelry was constituted out of the parish of Edwinstowe. By similar Order of 27 October 1930 the patronage was vested in the Bishop of Southwell [S.R. 5440, 5468]. The first perpetual curate was the Revd. John Gibbon-Pimlett. On his cessation the Revd. Albert Willam Keeton on 1 April 1939 continued in the post through the period whence the formal link with St. Mary's church, Edwinstowe was severed in 1939, when a new Ecclesiastical Parish was created for Clipstone. Both incumbents were curates at Edwinstowe during 1926-30.

The Revd. Canon Hatter organised the collection of funds to extend the church to provide a bow fronted, barrel roofed miners’ chapel at the eastern end. This supports, at high level, the only stained glass window.