When you are too interested in history I for one find that I can be easily distracted. Is it that my mind is too curious, that my imagination too flammable or that I like deferring completion by proactive self commissioning of new projects?

Either way, the last days, indeed the very life of King John has slipped into my consciousness, become highly fascinating and indeed the source of a small joke between one my best friend and I. Let me explain.

We went to visit Clipstone Palace, or King Johns Palace as it has been dubbed, but was somewhat underwhelmed by the limited amount of surviving masonry and stone. Then the historical translation board revealed King John, far from it being 'his' palace had stayed there for a mere 9 nights. A little dejected we headed next to Newark Castle, to find that a mere 4 nights, culminating in his death in the early hours of 19th October 1216.

A few weeks later I was working in Sleaford, Lincolnshire and was a tad animated about the realisation that there was a castle and that traces of it survive. Now the site is slightly more evocative than Clipstone but nonetheless the masonry fits the underwhelming definition and than the nail in the coffin. King John slept there for 1 night on 14th October before heading to Newark, where he died.

And so the mission of tracing and perhaps cataloging where did King John sleep has come about


  • 19th October died in the early hours at Newark Castle 
  • 16th, 17th and 18th October slept at Newark Castle, Nottinghamshire
  • 15th uncertain probably Newark, Nottinghamshire
  • 14th October slept at Sleaford Castle, Lincolnshire
  • 13th October slept at Swineshead Abbey, Lincolnshire
  • 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th October slept at Bishops Lynne (later Kings Lynn), Norfolk
  • 8th October slept probably at Spalding Castle, Lincolnshire
  • 7th October slept at Boston, Lincolnshire
  • 6th October slept at Louth, Lincolnshire
  • 5th October slept in Grimsby, Lincolnshire 
  • 22nd September possibly until 4th October slept at Lincoln Castle.

Today I was at Peveril Castle which I understand John may have owned before he was King, but the question unanswered, is did he sleep there ever?

I also think for completeness it would be essential to trace the route of his cadaver before burial at Gloucester Catherdral.  Agree?

You see the obsession... anyone else want to play?