Every schoolboy knows the name of Clarendon in connexion with the Constitutions of Clarendon 1164; but as regards the importance, historically as well as archaeologically, of Clarendon Palace, as regards its gradual growth to great splendour and magnificence in Plantagenet days, and as regards its subsequent vicissitudes—on all these points I think it may be said without exaggeration that the world at large knows next to nothing; nor have such inquiries as have sporadically taken place into the history and archaeology of Clarendon Palace ever penetrated very deeply into the subject. Having through a variety of circumstances come to give a good deal of thought to these questions, I have developed the conviction that Clarendon Palace offers a field of study which is of prime importance, and indeed, from certain points of view, of unique importance for the medieval archaeology not only of England but of the whole of Europe. I venture to hope that the present paper, though necessarily in the nature of a preliminary summary, may afford grounds for conceding that this is not too large a claim to make.
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