The Friends grew out of the groups of students, and volunteers from King Alfred’s College (now the University of Winchester), who worked with Tom James from 1977 onwards, and the group became formally constituted in 2013.
With a strong nucleus of interested people with varied expertise and none within their membership, they research the palace’s history from many sources and angles
The Friends work to stop the encroaching vegetation overwhelming the site, organise volunteering sessions and onsite briefings, produce a six-monthly Newsletter for our widely dispersed members, co-organise the Clarendon Lecture with the Salisbury Museum, attend various public events, and can provide outside talks and displays for groups and local schools
During summer 2019, supported by the Heritage Fund, and working with Durham University, they initiated new excavations at the palace site. Further research including the use of new scientific techniques will contribute to unravelling many mysteries, while the wider landscape setting and parkland, provide opportunities for ecological discoveries.
Discovering llamas at Clarendon is an unexpected feature of visiting the palace site: six neutered male llamas graze and patrol the ruins. They efficiently help to stem weed regeneration there, although they do seem to prefer us to cut mature nettles first and regard our filled wheelbarrows as llama snackbars, from which they select nettle stems to eat from the roots upwards!
If you would like to join the Friends of Clarendon Palace in their archaeological work, then please register your interest below.
One of our team will then get in touch with you.